Coronavirus shutting down imports and exports but for how long?

GSC Logistics ∕ March

The recent COVID-19 virus has affected supply chain processes worldwide.  Additionally, many of our clients have advised GSC that manufacturing throughout the Pacific Rim is currently behind scheduled time lines.  Furthermore, when production schedules are finally implemented, inventories will arrive to the U.S. west coast in much larger quantities than originally anticipated, in an effort to achieve purchase order replenishment.

There is real concern within the community whether or not the West Coast ports are going to be able to handle the influx of volume when the dam finally breaks on production in China. Nonetheless, everyone’s first priority is the safety of their own people because if you’re not looking out for your own, who is?

The latest from Port of Seattle leadership:

“Our port’s transportation facilities play a critical role in the local economy, millions of people and their personal lives. We appreciate the efforts by all employees and partners who are doing everything possible to keep travel safe for all.”
– Peter Steinbrueck, Port of Seattle Commission President


Port of Oakland update:

“The uptick in January was encouraging but we’re hearing from shipping lines that cargo volume could moderate over the next few months,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll.

However, it might take several months to fully understand what the effects of the virus outbreak will have on global shipping and the overall economy, port officials said.


Shipping Is Down

Shipping companies have cancelled close to two dozen trips into and out of the Port of Oakland that were scheduled to take place between last week and the beginning of April.

That represents about a 10 to 20 % drop in ship requests, according to Port spokesman Mike Zampa.

He says there are concerns the new coronavirus’s effect on business in China will hurt a major part of the Bay Area’s economy.


The airports are obviously the highest priority of the Port Authority organization for good reason. GSC Logistics has been staying very close to these conversations so we can keep our own client base informed of any developments that could impact their operations or their people.

We also understand that while volumes are going to tank, the demand for consumer goods will not. Creating contingency plans and protecting our team members is the highest priority right now but planning to protect our clients’ interests when production in China resumes comes right after that.

The tide is receding right now but that will always be followed by a flood and GSC Logistics is wasting no time in preparing life rafts for our clients. The congestion in the terminals at all ports is going to require fleets to expand at a moment’s notice and that is our focus.

Luckily for us, the contingency plans that were created in anticipation of the California Assembly Bill 5 (AB-5) fallout are now benefitting our abiity to ramp up when the tide in the West Coast ports rises again.

(Please reach out to us at and let us know what you’re seeing around the ports and how we can help!) 

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