Readers of gasworld are a well-traveled lot, but not so much recently and for the months ahead. Many of you have scaled back or stopped travel commitments due to coronavirus (Covid-19), which has become the biggest story of 2020 as fast as it has spread across the world from China and the wider Asia region.

We started the year not knowing much – if anything – about coronavirus, a highly contagious and sometimes fatal respiratory illness, but it has shot to the top of everyone’s agenda. Covid-19 has thrown up sudden, unforeseen challenges with a restriction/shutdown of domestic and international travel, the cancellation of trade events, staff absenteeism, closed businesses, the risk of layoffs, fluctuating product demands and the possibility of a global recession after stockmarkets and oil prices plunged in March.

Measures designed to halt coronavirus transmission have included quarantining workers, putting whole cities/countries into lockdown, idling factories, and social distancing. This has resulted in a reduction of manufacturing in some countries, and a widespread halt in international travel, and also locally.

Some economists are predicting the coronavirus will trigger the biggest financial crisis since the banks crashed in 2008. How will all of this affect your business and supply chain, and how sick will the coronavirus leave global economy?

North American reaction

China’s economy has been severely disrupted and a North America-based business relying on parts from China may be impacted by supplies later this year. By March, Covid-19 had reportedly led to fewer shipments of Apple’s iPhones out of China.

Doug Morton, of Ohio-based Eleet Cryogenics, the exclusive North American stocking partner and sales channel for Taylor-Wharton Malaysia’s microbulk tanks, atmospheric bulk tanks, and vacuum jacketed CO2 tanks, told gasworld in early March, “We have had just a few orders that come to us from China delayed or even held due to this current situation. Fortunately for us, another advantage for Eleet is that the Taylor-Wharton microbulk and bulk tanks that we distribute in the US and Canada come to us from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia which has not been negatively impacted and shipments are on schedule.”

But other supply chains have been disrupted as people stay away from work…

… Read the rest of this article in gasworld US Edition’s April issue. Special report: Business not as usual – coronavirus’ impact will also be published online, available from 1st April to subscribers only. 

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