Regional Updates in Asia & Oceania

Updates on the impact of COVID-19 in Asia & Oceania

+++ last update: 18 August 2021 +++


Summary of the current situation:

  • South Korea: Korea is in the midst of a fourth wave of new COVID-19 outbreaks. The measures taken by government is stricter, from 12 to 28 July, Seoul area under the toughest social distancing rules of Level 4 and Busan Level 2. Private gathering rules also get strict with max 2 people is allowed after 6 pm. Nationwide vaccination completion status is 30% for first and 12% total completion. HL Korea will stick current protection measurement and WFH rule until end of July.
  • China: COVID situation is stable in China. Business as usual in all China Offices with full team working in the office. QSC Suzhou, 100% employees work in the office since March this year. Local authorities have implemented similar preventive / control measures as CNYTN. All sales are encouraged to have virtual meetings instead of face to face meeting with immediate effect.
  • Singapore: Phase 3 (Heighted Alert) where work from home default for employees able to do so. While working from home continues to remain the default arrangement, social and recreational gatherings at the workplace will be allowed from 12th July but must be limited to no more than five people. As per MOH, employers should implement flexible working hours and ensure employees who need to go to the workplace stagger their start times. Cross-deployment of workers to different work sites is not allowed. From 12 July 2021 onwards, groups of 5 allowed to dine in as well as for social gatherings. All retail outlets & supermarkets will remain open. Target getting 2/3 of population to be fully vaccinated by 9 Aug’21 (National day). On 23 Jun 2359hours, all Travelers from higher risk countries will be subject to a 14-day SHN, instead of 21 days at dedicated facilities. All long-term pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history to Myanmar will be barred from entering or transiting through Singapore from Jul 16 given the "worsening" COVID-19 situation in the country. Bar visitors from Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan & Sri Lanka.
  • Malaysia: As at 15 July, Malaysia has recorded a total of 880,782 Covid-19 cases. Selangor state where HLC office located, is currently under EMCO (Enhanced Movement Control Order) from 3 July until 16 July due to the spike of Covid-19 cases. The SOPs for EMCO are stricter with police blocked and some places which have high Covid-19 cases are sealed and guarded by the police. Only one family member can go out to purchase essential goods and only within 10km radius during the EMCO period. As for the business, shipping is one of the essential business and allowed to be operated during the EMCO with only 60% workforce working in the office.
  • Taiwan: The entire sales team is currently working from home since 2 June. Continue implementing AB shifts for BA, CS and OP (25%-30% of colleagues in the office) but the following services will remain operational:
    1.    Taipei counter – work at office
    2.    Kaohsiung counter –work at office
    3.    CSI who need to handle custom clearance system at office
  • Thailand: The State of Emergency has been extended 2 months until 30 Sept 2021. To reduce the numbers of new covid19 cases which is continue rising in Bangkok and other provinces under the Highly and Strictly Control Provinces, Government has lifted the covid 19 restriction measures in 10 provinces including Bangkok and Samut Sakhon, SamutPrakan, Nontaburi, Pathumthani, NakhonPathom, Narathiwas, Pattani, Yala, Songkhla. Effected from Mon 12 July – 25 July (14 days) new measure in place such as Travel restrictions 14 days starting from 10 July. Increasing work-from-home (WFH) to 100% to limit people’s travel from their home, except worked related to essential services and infrastructure. This is for both the private and public sector. HLC BKK office: WFH 90% until 25 July 2021. Counter BKK and LCH open with limited service hours to avoid contact with external.
  • Cambodia: KH personal resume back to office but would require to follow the Royal Government instruction. Most CU/Carriers/Feeder still work from home: WFO 40% and WFH 60%. KH office: WFH 50% - Counter is closed / -All payments through E-Banking. / -D.O release through port’s system for both KHKOS and KHPNH. / -At the moment most import customers they use SWB not OBL. / -Seal release at depot
  • Vietnam: As of July 12th , the national tally reached 31,590 cases. The biggest hotspot is HCM City with new cases increase sharply in last 3 days of 4,540 followed by the 2 neighbor provinces of Binh Duong with 447 news cases and Dong Nai 119 new cases. The Ministry of Health confirmed almost 2,400 coronavirus cases in Vietnam on Monday, beating the record of almost 2,000 patients set one day before. HCM City will carry out social distancing for 15 days beginning 0:00 9 Jul: People are required to stay at home. In case of going outside, it is mandatory to wear masks and wash hands with soap or disinfectant solution; Residents in Ho Chi Minh City will be fined up to VND3 million (US$130) if they leave their house without appropriate reasons, as authorities are enforcing stricter social distancing measures from 9th Jul. 3,774,138 Vietnamese citizens vaccinated against COVID-19 up to 11 July in which 277,447 persons are fully vaccinated (0.28% of population) and the other 3,496,691 persons have at least one dose (3,56% of population).
  • Indonesia: From July 12th, Indonesia will impose emergency restrictions on islands beyond Java and Bali, the epicenter of its current coronavirus wave. The measures will be applied to 15 locations, including 13 cities, in Kalimantan and the islands of Sumatra, Papua and Lombok. However, there is no Lock down in Indonesia, but limited movement within and between cities.  Restrictions set to expire July 20 but may be extended to August 17. Restaurants open only for delivery/takeaway until 8:00 PM.  Grocery and pharmacy retailers remain open others closed. / Offices remain open to limited WFO for industries designated as essential or critical. (Logistics/Transport is graded as critical). Working arrangement: Working from office: 10% and Working from home: 90%
  • Philippines: Total Philippine daily COVID cases is now averaging at 5,000 per day. Essential offices and manufacturing companies are allowed to operate at 100% capacity provided minimum heath standard protocols are practiced. Wearing of facemask and face shield inside enclosed establishment is compulsory, including public transport. Non-essential establishments can only operate to 20 to 50% capacity and must practice the required minimum health standard protocols. Majority of the employees, around 70%, are WFH.
  • New Zealand: Able to travel quarantine free between New Zealand to Australia / Total 22 active covid-19 cases. 

  • Australia: Travel within Australia allowed with minor restrictions (Mild Restrictions/Min Restrictions from VIC to other states) Able to travel quarantine free between Australia to New Zealand (Except VIC) Total 30,195 active covid-19 cases.  

Terminal Operations 

  • Japan: No specific issue, no stoppage, no slow down. 
  • Pusan: High yard utilization of over 95% at all terminals in Pusan as a result of increased import T/S volumes and arrival bunching due to off proforma.  Expected to last until end of September. Pusan terminal HPNT temporarily restrict gate-in moves for local & TS export which is not to be loaded out within 5 days to improve yard utilization until further notice.
    Whereas PNC temporarily restrict gate-in moves for local & TS export which is not to be loaded out within 3 days(5 days for TS) to improve yard utilization until further notice.
    PNC is suffering shortage of reefer storage due to high volume of RF from vessel sailed from South America. PNC average berth delays expected to be 3 to 4 days. Whereas HPNT berth waiting time is 2 to 3 days.  GWCT works smoothly when yard utilization is less than 70% and expected waiting time is 1 day.
  • Shanghai: Heavy berth congestions are expected in YSA due to the YS4 terminal dredging operation plan as followings: Channel dredging operation start from 08th AUG / Berth dredging operation start from 10th AUG which will last for about one month. Both situations will cause berths to become more congested.  Expected berth waiting time 5 – 7 days at YSA.
  • Ningbo: Below vessels at Meishan berth and all operation has suspended since 13th morning:
    According to NPG internal information, cargo operation will be started from 18th for these vessels still at berth. Meishan terminal expected to be open at 1st September.
    Due to high yard utilization of 90%, for vessels not yet arrived in NGB, Ningbo Port has suspended acceptance of international transhipment, reefers, Roll-over, DG, Breakbulk shipments. CY open time reduced to 2 days for all terminals. Waiting period across all Ningbo terminals to be an average of 2 - 4 days.
  • Nansha: Berth-on-Arrival for regular service; extra loader case by case.
  • Yantian: 3 to 5 days waiting time is expected. In order to control yard density, extra loader arrangement will be: no restriction on extra loader with loading only. For extra loader with empty discharge only, need to apply in advance for terminal approval. For extra loader with laden discharge, need to apply case by case, rejection is expected.
  • Qingdao: Due to port closure from the recent bad weather, Qingdao port is having berth congestions. Average waiting time is 0.5 – 0.9 day.
  • Shekou:1.5 - 2 days waiting time at SCT/ MCT/CCT. All berths are in operation but with high yard utilization of 90%.
  • Vietnam:
    Vung Tau berth window remains tight due to berth congestion and average waiting time is 18 hours. For Cat Lai, the waiting time is around 8 hours.
    Cat Lai Terminals
    • Further to the restrictions on import cargo to Cat Lai, SNP has announced that port operations resume back to normal as yard utilization dropped to 85% and vessel waiting time improved to less than 8 hours.
      Regulations however will remain in place unchanged (i.e. OOG, Reefer restrictions as well as pick up of inbound Containers within 2 days after arrival) as announced earlier
  • SSIT Terminal
    • In order to reduce pressure to Cat Lai and other ports/ICDs during this period, TCIT is offering supportive policy for direct delivery at TCIT by truck for RF containers which change its final destination to TCIT, details as follows:
    • Free Manifest amendment fee when working with Ba Ria- Vung Tau Customs Department
    • Free first 96h of power charge
    • Free 50% lift-on fee
    • A/m policy shall take effect from 00:00 on July 20th, 2021 until further notice.
    • TCIT would like to request Carriers to jointly implement the following measures:
    • Carriers to send (a) list of containers that need urgently transporting together with (b) Customer's commitment to receive cargo in Cat Lai stating "Customer commits to complete all Customs procedures related to the receipt of cargo within 48 hours from the time shipment is discharged to Cat Lai" and (c) Customer's plan to receive containers to their warehouses/factories. TCIT will facilitate and prioritize the transportation of shipments having commitments from customers.
    • TCIT recommends Carriers to adjust the final destination to other associated Ports/ICDs at the most convenient locations customers, such as Tan Cang - Hiep Phuoc, Tan Cang - Nhon Trach ICD, Tan Cang - Long Binh ICD and other Ports/ICDs in Dong Nai and Binh Duong areas to reduce pressure on Cat Lai.
    • TCIT continues to recommend carriers to adjust the final destination to Binh Duong Port, Tan Cang - Hiep Phuoc Terminal, Tan Cang - Nhon Trach ICD, Tan Cang – Long Binh ICD and other ports/ICDs in Dong Nai areas or conduct the direct delivery at TCIT to minimize the waiting time and additional costs.  
  • Hong Kong: The current yard density and utilization of MTL is 86%. With such high yard density and utilization, MTL have applied more stringent measures to reduce inventory level so as to upkeep normal terminal operations. Vessel berthing will be prioritized for pure loading vessels or vessels with loading volume more than discharge volume.  Berthing of vessels with discharge volume more than load volume will be handled subject to MTL yard situation. In average, the waiting time is 0.5 - 1 days or longer for discharge vessel. This berthing arrangement will continue until the yard inventory resume to healthy level.
  • Singapore: The average waiting time at PSA is 2 to 3 days due to bunching of vessel from the concentrated arrival of vessels coming from China ports. Priority is given to export calls to relieve the high yard density problem. Yard density is 90% and Reefer yard density is 90%. High yard inventory remains the key challenge, especially reefer yard. Terminal still prioritizing loader vs dischargers, and discourage liners from skipping ports of discharge and discharging boxes in SGSIN. All stevedore is back and there is no longer quarantine status since end May. There is no shortage of stevedores. In view of heightened risk of the spread of Covid-19 infection, PSA introduced “Enhanced safe management measures - contactless (segregated) cargo operations” with effect from 3rd May, 2021. The main aim is to minimize the contact between vessel crew and shore-based personnel. There is travel ban for all sign on/off crew from/to India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan. Vessel calls with last port India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan require maritime safety declaration prior arrival for berthing approval.
    Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has been rescinding in-principle approvals (IPAs) and rejecting crew change applications for crew with recent travel history to Myanmar and Indonesia. This is likely due to the Singapore government’s tightening of travel restrictions for travelers from Myanmar (wef 15 July 2021, 2359 hours) and from Indonesia (wef 12 July 2021, 2359 hours) in view of the worsening situation in those countries.
  • Malaysia: For Westports, the average berth waiting time is 72 hours and yard utilization is very high (close to 100%). For Northport, there is no berth congestion and the yard utilization is 90%.
  • Thailand: Thailand (Laem Chabang) – no congestion or berth clashes. HPT are allocating berth on arrival for THEA vessels. Yard utilization: HPT / Terminal C – 55% and Terminal D – 50%. No delays for collection or acceptance of containers.
  • NZ-Auckland: No specific issue, no stoppage, no slow down.
    In machinery spaces one person at a time allowed. Additional cleaning after change of shift
    • Additional cleaning after change of shift
    • Hampers ability to maximize vessels and limited to at times proforma exchange.
    • Delays to already out of window services. (96% of services coming to AU are late)
  • Australia: The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has begun a series of work stoppages at Patrick Terminals’ Sydney facility and, with further action planned for the rest of the month. Sydney Terminal delays have increased to approx. 5 days. Average delay on-window vessels: 3.3 days. Average delay off-window vessels: 10.5 days.

Railway Operations​

No reported issue nor known disruption.

Truck Availability​

  • Vietnam

Less trucking capacity availability in HCMC area is already noticeable. The incurred test fee for workers / drivers have impacted the transportation services from other provinces.
Trucking vendor ICD Dong Nai (off-dock service foe e.g. NIKE/ ADIDAS) has approached HL to absorb costs for COVID-19 tests for their drivers. Other vendors haven’t approached HLC yet.

Recent procedure 

  • Register to get the approval for travel pass as well as have been tested negative for Covid-19
  • Transport companies will try to arrange the accommodation for their drivers inside HCMC area
  • Pay more allowance to keep the drivers to maintain the tasks / operations

If HCMC authorities continue to apply the additional social distancing measures, it is likely that:

  • The transport companies might consider to increase their trucking rates
  • The availability in transportation service might decreas due to lack of driver capacity
  • The transport companies will decide on the routes they can still operate, i.e. limited to HCMC area

Barge Availability

  • Thailand: Import LCH to BKK sector via Terminal A0.5. Expect 2 to 4 days delay.
    Export BKK to LCH barge activity facing no problems or delays.
  • Vietnam: Berth window is always congested and barge operators have to wait for berth arrangement.
  • Hong Kong: Some Main Line vessels still omit YTN for schedule recovery. These YTN boxes would be arranged by Main Line vessels from HKG to YTN. Besides, feeder services via HKG are affected/delayed due to severe berthing congestions at HKG terminals. Due to high yard density, MTL proposes/requests to arrange earlier connecting Main Line vessels to next POD to relieve congestion situation.

Depots   / Equipment

Equipment situation in Asia on manageable lean levels week on week with tendencies for reduction due to strong demand, our highest negative imbalances taking place at Chinese main ports and Vietnam country.
Are at these locations and others where we are continuously making efforts to ensure demand is supplied by taking regular actions on either additional capacity or asset investment.
We aim to fulfill our commitments from this perspective, however for more details it is advisable to approach your regular points of contact.

  • Malaysia: One of the depots in Pork Klang (GF Depot) has staff tested COVID-19 positive on 25th Jul. The depot was asked to close for 2 days for sanitization. Their opening hours are changed as follows:
    26th to 27th July: closed
    28th to 8th Aug: 08:00 to 20:00 (Mon to Sat)
    08:00 to 16:00 (Sun)
    9th Aug onwards: resume normal (08:00 to 12:00 from Mon to Sat)
    08:00 to 16:00 (Sun)
  • Vietnam ICDs:
    • Cat Lai Giang Nam adjusted the export to Cai Mep drop-off time to 10 days (i/o 5days) before ETA of MLV at Cai Mep. Effective date is from 26th Jul 2021 0000hrs.
    • Cat Lai terminal will apply new rule for drop-off time for DRY boxes. The drop off time is 4 days before ETA. Effective date is from 1st July 2021 until the further notice.
    • ICD Phuoc Long will receive outbound shipments within 10 days before COT at ICD. This special policy will be applied for HL customers only. As per their standard rule, 5 days apply.
    • ICD Sotrans / ICD Tanamexco started to apply acceptance of export shipments drop off not earlier than 72 hours prior to CY COT as from 16th June 2021 until further notice.
    • Reefer CY at ICD Tanamexco is seriously congested due to volume increased sharply. ICD Tanamexco will limit to receive laden RF units & is asking customers to drop off laden within 3 days prior to CY COT or later.
    • Binh Duong Port continues to strictly implement the 5K practice for all employees and control all drivers and customers who come for work at the Port. All are required to present a valid negative Covid-19 Test Certificate before entering the Port.
    • Operations at other ICDs remains as per normal  

Customer Service

We are continuing to operate on a Business as usual basis. If you require any assistance please do not hesitate to contact your local customer service representative in East Asia, local page can be found  here  and for Oceania local page  here.

For faster BL release at destination, under the current COVID-19 conditions, we encourage customers to switch from OBL to SWB however, we do understand that this is not always possible. If any assistance is needed please reach out to your local customer service documentation team.

Counter services are still open for majority of the offices. For Counter Service Operating Hours, please contact your local office.

Many of our staff are now working from home however, we do not anticipate this effecting our contact center, which will remain fully functioning throughout this period.

If you are not already doing so, we highly recommend that you use our e-tools (Web-Booking and EASI) for submitting bookings and Shipper Instructions.

For vessel/container/booking status and sailing schedules, please visit the Online Business section on our website.

We highly recommend that you check out the Hapag-Lloyd Navigator tool for an overall glance of your current shipments with us.

For Dangerous Good Cargo terminal gate acceptance, we strongly recommend customers to send us electronic copies of their Export Hazardous Declarations to be uploaded in your DG bookings.

Additional Information

  • Myanmar: Myanmar continue to experience high numbers of Covid-19 cases and deaths.
    Myanmar still under “martial law” with restricted movement and activities.
  • Tokyo: Olympic Opening Ceremony 23(Fri) 20:00~23:00 (JST)
  • CNYTN: Local Customs have tightened up COVID-19 control / prevention measures for vessel. The Customs will carry out COVID-19 test for all crew on board if vessel have called Indian ports or have on-signer who have visited or have passed through India in the last 21 days before visiting Yantian ; Cargo operation cannot be commenced until the test results, which normally take about 8 hours at daytime, are negative for all crew. Also, the terminals have restricted ship services such as ship repair, AGM inspection, ship & bunker survey, ship supply and etc. All terminals are currently using a contactless mode of cargo operation. With effective from 01-Aug-2021, YICT will not provide onboard reefer plugging / un-plugging service and such service have to be carried out by carrier appointed vendor.
  • Typhoon "In-fa: Typhoon "In-fa" is approaching to north china, the biggest wind force in the center is Scale 12 now. There is possibility of being affected at Shanghai/Yangshan Coastal area from 21th July midnight, the average wind force may increase to around scale 6-7. The pilotage service n cargo operation is still working.
    Pilotage service for Yangshan is normal as usual. Pilotage service for North Channel suspended during 2255lt/20th-0600lt/21st due to heavy swells.
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