Coronavirus unsettles the Marine Industry

28 January 2020 | Blog Post

China has held back some ships from calling at the port of the city of Wuhan City, in the Hubei province of China as part of a lockdown of cities affected by the coronavirus.

The other cities affected by the lockdown included Huanggang and Ezhou, which are key ports on the Yangtze River.

China has confirmed 2,744 cases of the virus and 81 deaths according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Wuhan, is an industrial city of 11 million people, handling close to 1.5 million containers a year, along with thousands of tons of coal, steel, crude oil and fertiliser cargoes.

Insurers are actively monitoring the situation, as ports could be quarantined if the virus spreads, which means that premiums for shipments across the region could also be impacted.

Brokers have said they have seen delays in services between Yokohama, Japan and Wuhan, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Meanwhile, China COSCO, the leading Chinese shipping company has said they haven’t altered their Chinese services.

Over the coming months, all eyes will be on the World Health Organisation (WHO), which for now has not raised the category of the coronavirus to a Global Health Emergency. If that move should happen then professionals in the world of insurance and risk need to work closely with their supply chain partners, data providers and analysts to implement mitigation strategies that reduce their potential exposures.

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