GSA COVID-19 Impacts – Supplier Relocation Community Discussion (27 April)


April 27, 2020

GSA held their weekly call with the moving and relocation industry to discuss COVID-19 policy and impacts.  Julie Blanford, the Director of GSA’s Employee Relocation Resource Center, led the call. 

 

GSA wanted to make sure people had seen their advisory announcing the 5% surcharge they are allowing on shipments due to the COVID-19 crisis.  Julie clarified that the surcharge applies to shipments tendered on or after 13 March until further notice.  The term “tendered” refers to the date on the work authorization or the bill of lading.  The 5% is added to those appropriate items on the invoice…it is not a 5% increase on your filed rates.  See the surcharge advisory with details on what the surcharge applies to.

 

Additional guidance is due out of GSA to clarify more details associated with the surcharge, as well as guidance on shipments tendered prior to 13 March, but moving during the Stop Movement.  If you have inputs you’d like to be considered prior to the next updated advisory, contact julie.blanford@gsa.gov and provide her your feedback. 

 

Additionally, if the Stop Movement continues into the fall, GSA will expect TSPs to account for the increased costs during the next rate filing as opposed to via the surcharge.

 

The surcharge is applicable to all CHAMP shipments…individual agencies cannot opt out of it.  If an agency gives you push back on a surcharge item listed in the advisory, encourage them to contact GSA ERRC for guidance.  You can also contact Terri Shaffer, who is GSA’s lead agency engagement POC. 

 

Department of State recently reversed their position on stopping all PCS travel for their employees, and has stated they will now resume scheduling packout services and approve movement of personal effects.





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Chinese manufacturers cut container production to hold prices as demand falls


April 27, 2020

For the first time in a decade, the world container fleet is likely to be getting smaller, in the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. New research from Drewry Maritime Advisors suggests that, despite warnings from freight service providers that global maritime supply chains are likely to come under increasing pressure due to a shortage of equipment, it appears Chinese box manufacturers have substantially cut production to maintain prices.

Full Story at The Loadstar >





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Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Update


April 26, 2020

Loan Forgiveness Program to Resume Monday, April 27th 

 

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has updated their website regarding the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which has been provided additional funding and is now permitted to resume the PPP application and loan process.

 

Applications will be accepted from participating lenders beginning tomorrow, Monday, April 27th at 10:30 am EDT. Click here to find a participating financial institution (lender) near you. Click here to read and download the application form that your lender would be required to submit on your behalf. The SBA’s FAQ section reviews loan amounts and parameters, permissible use of funds received for “forgivable purposes” and other eligibility requirements.





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Container spot rates from Asia holding steady, despite carrier shortcomings


April 24, 2020

Ocean carriers are succeeding in propping up container spot rates from Asia, partly due to poorly communicated blanking programmes creating uncertainty for shippers. Moreover, shippers are finding that, where bookings are being rolled onto other loops, those services are not necessarily discharging their containers at the nominated destinations.

Full Story at The Loadstar >





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Uncleared import boxes clogging India’s ports being used as ‘free warehousing’


April 24, 2020

There seems no end in sight to the congestion choking India’s ports. According to the Container Shipping Lines Association of India (CSLA), tens of thousands of uncleared import containers are clogging supply chains amid the nationwide coronavirus lockdown. Mr Vaswani said many shipping lines had granted additional free time for container storage, despite most privately operated terminals not offering corresponding respite on port ground rent.

Full Story at The Loadstar >





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HMM launches world’s biggest box ship – but its first voyage may be the last


April 23, 2020

As South Korean shipping line HMM today formally launched the world’s largest containership, the country’s government outlined an enormous financial package to prop up its maritime industries. Minister Moon Seong-hyeok said: “The shipping firms are expected to suffer more serious damage after the second quarter, considering the time lapse between the global economic turmoil and the decline in their performances.”

Full Story at The Loadstar >





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A Brighter Picture for European Movers


April 23, 2020

This weeks FEDEMAC News summary of the COVID-19 crisis shows an increasing number of European moving companies returning to work under strict safety measures, but activity remains low as corporate and private customers remain cautious.

From the FEDEMAC Newsletter >





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Apr 23 How to Make a Face Mask – One Person Can Make A Difference Cindy Myer of Ridgewood Moving Services writes: "My daughter Sam has been working with her designer friends (based out of NYC) to set up "cottage Industry" assembly of face masks." She also includes a link to a useful video to guide you.



Apr
23

How to Make a Face Mask – One Person Can Make A Difference
Cindy Myer of Ridgewood Moving Services writes: “My daughter Sam has been working with her designer friends (based out of NYC) to set up “cottage Industry” assembly of face masks.” She also includes a link to a useful video to guide you.



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Crew of container ship ‘kidnapped by pirates’ off Benin


April 22, 2020

Eight crew members of a Singapore-owned container ship are missing and thought to have been kidnapped after it was stormed by pirates off Benin, the ship’s German management firm said on Tuesday (April 21). Shipping firm Transeste said that the vessel, the Tommi Ritscher, had been boarded on Sunday while at anchor off the port of Cotonou.

Full Story at The Straits Times >





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Brexit transition must be extended, or freight operators won’t cope, says BIFA


April 22, 2020

The freight industry will be unable to cope with significant change in the UK’s trade terms with Europe, if the Brexit transition period is not extended, says BIFA. BIFA director general Robert Keen labelled a refusal to extend the period as “very risky”.

Full Story at The Loadstar >





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