Daily Update 3/27/2020
Recent Developments – COVID-19 Impacts
SEKO Logistics to Continue Operations During ‘Shelter in Place’ Orders
We want to ensure to our team, our clients and our partners that SEKO Logistics will continue to operate, including in states and municipalities implement ‘Shelter in Place’ orders.
As passenger capacity continues to diminish by the day, our global airfreight team has been diligently working on securing air charters for routes around the globe. Although we continue to look for passenger lift when available, these options are decreasing rapidly. Some global airlines are slashing their flight capacity by 80%-90%.
Our global airfreight team have been diligently working on securing air charters for routes around the globe as passenger capacity continues to diminish by the day. As we told American Shipper recently, we’re seeing a positive sign with many airlines converting passenger aircraft into cargo aircraft. This is a rapidly changing development, and it may be the best option for more economical airfreight solutions for certain lanes in addition to our regular charter service which is coming online now from China to the USA and other trade lane pairs. If you have a question about our air charter solutions and how we can potentially assist, please send information on any upcoming urgent needs such as origin and destination pair, dimensions, weight and whether the shipment is of a critical nature (perishable) so that we may provide a response regarding an upcoming charter that my fit your immediate or short term needs.
You can reference the growing list of additional countries around the globe by clicking here:(Source:New York Times)
Please email our global airfreight group at: AirCapacity@sekologistics.com
Our leadership team has been working diligently to monitor the situation in the United States and to respond swiftly with our number one priority being the health and well-being of our employees and our families. To that end, and with immediate effect, our Global Headquarters located near Chicago will now be working remote until further notice. During this transition, we will be conducting business as usual to assist our clients during this disruptive time. Thank you for your understanding.
Additionally, in order to protect the safety of our drivers, our clients and consumers, SEKO Home Delivery and Last Mile services including White Glove pickups and deliveries continue to evolve with additional precautions. As it was published in theNew York Times and originally reported by Reuters on Tuesday:
“Chicago-based SEKO has halted "over the threshold" service in Seattle, Spokane, Portland and San Francisco, Brian Bourke, SEKO's Chief Growth Officer, told Reuters. "The company is now calling every in-home delivery customer and giving them the option to delay, reschedule, or have items left on porches or in garages. Drivers also can decline to enter a home if they feel it is unsafe," Bourke said. "The delivery experience is going to be different for the foreseeable future," said Bourke, who is watching outbreak trends closely.
Transportation companies are moving to protect truck and delivery drivers, who are vital to keeping food, medical supplies and eCommerce moving as people in the United States begin sheltering at home in an effort to slow an expected wave of cases of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the sometimes deadly new coronavirus. "They are on the front lines," Bourke said of transportation workers.
SEKO has begun identifying space in warehouses that could be used to stage medical devices, hospital beds, masks and other supplies for quick deployment to outbreak hotspots.
"Hospitals don't have warehouses attached to them," Bourke said.
In addition, six counties in the Bay Area encompassing and area which include the cities of San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose implemented an order from the Departments of Public Health of in the region a ‘Shelter In Place’ order. As of this writing another county in Southern California was added with Orange County, including Costa Mesa.
As we will see an increase in similar orders in other affected areas, SEKO will continue operations in these areas with some limited restrictions. These restrictions will help protect the safety of our workers in the warehouses while others transition to remote working from home with limited to no interruptions in other freight forwarding and white glove services. At the same time, we will also be able to focus on the business continuity for our clients to ensure continued operation and little to no disruption in your supply chain.;
SEKO Logistics Station Status
SEKO’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak includes taking additional actions to protect the health and wellness of employees, mitigate supply chain disruptions for clients, and ensure business continuity through contingency planning.
More branches are now operating under Amber status with the expansion of ‘Shelter in Place’ orders. We will continue to update the definitions and branches, and we will include a map of Europe this week.
SEKO Medtec Certified
SEKO Pharma Certified
Green Status Areas
OPERATIONS: Business as usual STATUS: 100% operational capacity
Amber Status Areas
OPERATIONS: Mostly normal with some restrictions
STATUS: Execute backup and telework continuity plans with 50% or more working remote as feasible. Distribution of some potential operational work to other stations, If necessary.
For Home Deliveries: Drivers will not be entering homes nor will they provide assembly service. Garage deliveries only with POD driver notation. Additional changes in procedures for business and warehouse deliveries. Warehouse work will now include social distancing accommodations which may have an impact on typical operations related to fulfillment, deconsolidation, Cross-Border parcel processing and other labor-intensive activities.
- Drivers are restricted to the dock area and may not approach the operations window
- They are to check in at the warehouse door and proceed to their vehicle for loading / unloading
- One employee will be designated to driver engagement to minimize contact across the team
Anticipate delays on devanning or loading of ocean containers
- We are limiting these functions to one person per box to adhere to social distancing etiquette
- Rotation of individuals will take place as necessary to accommodate break and meal time
- Anticipate 4 to 8-hour container loading / unloading times with the time delta dependent on piece count
For MedTec: Control Tower operations slightly limited. Warehouse fulfillment limited on case-by-case basis. Non-essential staff works remotely, no facility visits and no inside deliveries. Call Control Tower for urgent needs.
Yellow Status Areas
OPERATIONS: Mostly normal
STATUS: Some travel restrictions. Contingency planning put into motion with telecommuting options being explored.
For Home Deliveries: Drivers will implement a new POD process that will take into account social distancing.
For MedTec: Travel restrictions. Business Continuity Plan implemented. Customer Service and Logistics Coordinators work remotely. Operations continue, but facility access may be limited. Visiting restricted. Inside deliveries may be limited by consignees. Control Towers fully functional.
Red Status Areas
OPERATIONS: Severely Impacted
STATUS: MISSION CRITICAL / AID AND RELIEF TRANSPORTATION ONLY – Work limited to essential and medical/relief pickups and deliveries – Much of the Operational work routed through other stations. Only essential goods delivered to homes or business via curbside and drop-off service. Essential goods and work defined by local ordinance. Priority given to Medical, Aid and Relief shipments and cargo only.
For MedTec: Work limited to essential and Medical/Relief pickups and deliveries. Warehouses function limited to urgent Medical/Relief only. Control Tower functions limited.
Although the borders between the United States and Canada as well as between the USA and Mexico have both been closed to only essential travel, cargo continues to move across all modes including ground service.
The National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America, Inc., (NCBFAA) forwarders and customs brokers have provided guidance that compalies like SEKO would fall within the exemption provided in areas with a ‘shelter in place’ order, as our activities are essential to keep goods moving in commerce . As we will see an increase in ‘shelter in place’ orders in certain localities, SEKO will continue essential operations in these areas with some limited restrictions. These restrictions will help protect the safety of our workers in the warehouses while others transition to remote working from home with limited to no interruptions in other freight forwarding and white glove services. At the same time, we will also be able to focus on the business continuity for our clients to ensure continued operation and little to no disruption in your supply chain.
We have updated our color scheme with enhanced definitions above. Although we have a many mores states and local municipalities implemented these orders where we have branches in the Amber zone, we are determined to continuing to service our clients safely and effectively during these difficult times.
Global Airfreight Charters
As global airlines around the world have reduced or eliminated passenger capacity completely, we have deployed our charter solutions in conjunction with any available belly capacity available. In the past few days we have seen a surge in passenger planes retrofitted to provide mini-freighter space. As the situation is very fluid, and if you have a question about our air charter solutions or airfreight services and how we can potentially assist, please send information on any upcoming urgent needs such as origin and destination pair, dimensions, weight and whether the shipment is of a critical nature (perishable) so that we may provide a response regarding an upcoming charter that my fit your immediate or short term needs.
Please email our global airfreight group at: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
There will also be charters now twice a week between Taiwan and San Francisco starting April 2. Contact us if you have any interest in participating.
You can reference the growing list of additional countries with travel restrictions that are reducing demand for international travel around the globe by clicking here. (Source: New York Times)
Ocean Freight Options
The ocean team is in continual contact with our core and supplemental carrier base to ensure cargo flow as normal. Aside from the Transpacific Eastbound, there are no voided sailings in other trades (Transatlantic, Latin America / Caribbean or Oceania ). The situation can change on short notice but unlike the airlines, ocean freight runs with less reliance on passenger craft, so ocean remains a reliable alternative to air freight.
Standard FCL and LCL Options are in place with our core and supplemental carrier base. As equipment and space may be at a premium, especially in the Trans Pacific trade, carriers are asking for detailed forecasts of equipment size and types as well as target requested arrival dates at destination. This helps plan actual carrier and sailing options along with cutoffs. In some cases, SEKO might have to work with two or more carriers that normally only one carrier might be used for SEKO client freight.
For further information contact your local SEKO representative or send a message directly with the Corporate Ocean Team (email@example.com)
Medical Rapid Response Team
The medical relief effort is currently ramping up quickly. Our SEKO MedTec team encourages all medical aid and relief manufacturers of respirators, ventilators, gloves, masks, gowns and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to make contact immediately to begin planning for capacity. The focus right now is on New York City and surrounding metro area in the United States.
We’ve updated our USA map to include which facilities are SEKO MedTec certified to handle forward stocking and short term warehousing for ventilators, respirators and diagnostic equipment, as well as the pharma certified facilities. The entire network of 62 SEKO USA locations can all handle and support for surge capacity related to other medical supplies including gloves, gowns and masks.
Response Team Control Tower:
Call: 1-877-581-5681 24/7 (Suggested for urgent movements)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Available 0700-1900 EDT)
SEKO’s supply chain resources include:
SEKO MedTec leverages our White Glove, air-ride network to support high-value, sensitive electronics, medical devices and more. Multi-modal services include expedited and exclusive trucks, air cargo, and LTL with White Glove and last mile.
Resilient, remote workforce:
Our systems enable us to work remotely as needed and they are strategically located across the US to support our clients. We’ve engaged our business continuity plans to ensure you are supported at any time you need us!
Home Delivery Status Update
Changes in Home Delivery Procedures by USA Station COVID-19 Reporting Status.
*Effective Immediately and Subject to Change*
In accordance with our precautions, plans and actions being carried out, we are also updating our Home Delivery policies and procedures with a focus on safety, health and business continuity.
There are certain aspects of our Home Delivery services in the United States that will change over the next 30-60 days:
- All deliveries may be rescheduled starting Monday March 16 for up to 45 days from the originally scheduled delivery date including waiving of all temporary storage fees.
- Effective immediately: All deliveries are subject to delays and KPIs may be missed.
- Deliveries pertaining to immediate medical or government ordered needs will be treated as priority across our SEKO network. We appreciate your understanding in this matter.
Effective immediately: All drivers entering homes for White Glove services are to practice efforts in reducing transmission risk. The following protocols are being made aware and are being implemented:
- Personal hygiene expectations (washing hands frequently for a minimum of 30 seconds)
- Enhanced sanitizing awareness (including offices, docks, phones, tablets, and pens)
- Staying home if unwell
- Social distancing (avoiding handshakes, sharing food, large grouping)
- Personal travel advisories
- Advising drivers to wear clean attire when entering a residence (latex gloves recommended, shoe slips, and masks where supplies allow)
SEKO continues to operate throughout Europe with those that are able to working from home. Road freight is possible, although border checks that have been re-established on many borders within the EU to prevent traveling unnecessary have a negative effect on transit times. We will include a new station status map for Europe this week.
SEKO continues to operate as Prime Minister Johnson issues ‘Stay at Home’ order. For all staff that can work remote, they already are and we continue to be fully operational. Our facilities dedicated to eCommerce fulfillment in Milton Keynes and Cross-Border eCommerce parcel processing and airfreight operations near Heathrow in Egham continue to be operational, with some restrictions to ensure social distancing.
Bookings must be made 7 days in advance due to PAX cancellations and reduced number of flights. Air rates can vary between booking and actual date of departure. Even if some airlines have a booking schedule, the schedule may fluctuate at the time of booking and actual progress because the confirmation occurs on the day before or on the of departure. Air rates and space availability is subject to change and it can change on a daily bases.
South Africa, Philippines, India and Pakistan
Some countries have implemented even stricter curfew measures which will have a more severe impact on cargo operations in the next 2-4 weeks. We will continue to monitor these as they arise, including in the countries stated above. Be advised that there may serious delays in or out of these countries regardless of transportation mode.
SEKO Solutions to keep your supply chain moving
An alternative solution to both air freight and ocean freight. SEKO’s Sea-Air service is a blend of rapid ocean and premium air legs, with a choice of strategically located hubs to provide faster transit times at lower costs.
Given the capacity issues predicted in the coming months, our Rail-Air solution involves rail freighting cargo from China into Europe via Poland, and air freighting onward to the UK and USA.
Dedicated express solutions on multi-modal express service between China / South East Asia & USWC / Select IPI’s. SEKO’s Transpacific Express is faster than ocean and more affordable than air.
For those international shipping requirements that just can’t wait, or global deliveries of stock, parts, consumables and supplies.
COVID-19 News and Resources
The Wall Street Journal
U.S. Travel Ban Is Expected to Snarl Trans-Atlantic Airfreight
The New York Times
Air Freight Rates Skyrocket Amid Passenger Flight Cuts, Chinese Factory Restarts
U.S. trucking and delivery firms shift services as coronavirus spreads
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention