As the Zika virus spreads, how will it affect the future of logistics?
Zika has recently emerged as a significant challenge, not only for the general population of the United States but also for logistics. China has placed the United States on a list of countries with restrictions requiring companies to take extra precautions to ensure that shipments are mosquito-free. This is in hopes of preventing the spread of the Zika virus. China previously instituted these import rules in March and had just added the United States. The move is expected to delay exports as companies figure out how to comply with the new regulations.
The Chinese government stated that shipments arriving from affected countries would be rejected if all anti-mosquito treatment protocols and proper certifications were not provided. If rejected, Chinese port authorities could require containers to submit to quarantine and undergo anti-mosquito treatments, resulting in additional costs and delays.
The Zika virus is a disease that is spread primarily through a bite by an infected Aedes species mosquito. Despite the known symptoms of fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis, many infected people may not realize they have acquired the virus. However, if a pregnant woman is infected, it can cause microcephaly, which can result in abnormalities in the baby.
There have been 33 total cases (14 locally acquired mosquito-borne cases) in the United States, and all of those have been in Florida per the CDC (Center for Disease Control). There is a heightened awareness of Zika throughout the world (especially at the Rio Olympics), and this has increased the focus on preparation and prevention.
The Future with Zika.
With as many as four million people projected to get infected this year, Zika is now tagged as a global public health emergency.’ This kind of hazardous situation is not just affecting our population, but it puts the majority of logistics companies that offer international import and export shipping on high alert, as well.
The Zika virus spread in the continental United States is forcing logistics companies to put stricter regulations in place, including fumigation of shipments. These costs and delays, in relation to export goods, could have a severe effect on global logistics.
This problem is evolving rapidly, and the best resources for information updates are from government agencies, including:
These are listed countries that currently (more expected) need to follow the new regulations to ship to China.
America (31) – Aruba, Bonaire, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Salvador, Guyana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, French Guiana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint-Martin, Sint Maarten, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Surinam, Virgin Islands, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, and The United States
Oceania (6) – Samoa, American Samoa, Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu
Asia (2) – Maldives, Thailand
Africa (1) – Cape Verde
With possible epidemics like Zika on the rise, the impact on the global economy and your personal business could be huge. If you are not considering the time and cost delays, you should.
If you are unsure of the next step with your international shipping, contact us here.