How the Coronavirus Outbreak Affects the Shipping Industry in Malta


Automation? Machine learning? No, the Coronavirus is disrupting the shipping industry. Supply chains in Europe and around the world have seen disruptions from the effects of the Coronavirus. In Malta, we saw the effects after workers refused to handle incoming cargo.


Impact in Malta

The Coronavirus outbreak has a significant impact on the world economy, from quarantines prompting people to stay at home and forcing businesses to shut down, raw material imports from China has been seen plummeting as a result, countries, and companies are more vary of trade and shipments are being kept in quarantine.
In February, in Malta, workers at cargo terminals in Paola and Valletta refused to handle incoming cargo from Italy over Corona fears. The workers stated that they would not handle any cargo unless in supervision and after clearance of medical doctors.
A couple of days later we received word from Alex Montebello, the CEO of Malta Freeport Terminals, that medics would board cargo ships and carry out temperature scans of crews on the ships. This will help establish whether or not the crew and shipment are affected by the Coronavirus.
This is in line with what the workers together with the Malta Dockers Union demanded after refusing to handle incoming cargo. Since then, things have returned to normal with scans being carried out to reassure workers that cargo ships are contagion-free.


Waiting for a Rebound

While the shipping markets have been under pressure from the Coronavirus. As soon as the virus outbreak is contained, we should be seeing a quick rebound to turn everything back to normal.

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