In Myanmar, all terminals are currently still operating, but operations have been slowed due to millions joining the nationwide general strike against the military regime.
Some shipping lines have now begun suspending cargo bookings into Myanmar, although others say they are closely monitoring the situation and are still accepting bookings. Shippers have also stopped calling at the downtown MIP port and will only call at Thilawa (MITT) until further notice.
With all private banks currently closed, forwarders and shipper have been unable to process customs documents, leading to delays and further disruption.
One of the key factors in freight disruption has been supply chain workers joining the protests, which are known locally as the CDM (civil disobedience movement). Warehouses, container freight stations and distribution centres have all been affected, with many closed and others operating with only 20-50% of normal manpower.
Truck drivers are still participating in the CDM, with some advising they will begin operating again in March 2021. This has added to delays at the downtown Yangon terminals.
There have been mixed reports about operations at Yangon Airport, but most scheduled flights have been cancelled, with a limited number of charter flights reportedly still landing.
Disruption will continue this week, with cargo delivery movements in and out of terminals slowed. We continue to monitor the situation and our teams will keep you updated.
For information on specific bookings please contact our Customer Teams.
Update from 19/02/2021
Following the military coup in Myanmar on 1st February, mass political protests continue to cause further freight disruption.
Many industrial associations have now stopped cooperating with the new military government, including the Myanmar Container Trucks Association (MCTA). On Friday 12th February, 2,750 MCTA truck drivers suspended operations indefinitely.
The MCTA has advised that trucks will continue to transport cargo deemed essential for the country and its people, but they will not run other goods and materials due to the banks and ports being closed.
Customs clearance agents have reportedly joined protesters too.
A number of shipping lines have pushed back vessel arrival dates with delays of approximately three days at Yangon port.
While most passenger flights were already grounded due to the pandemic, following the military takeover, Yangon International Airport was expected to remain closed until May or June, including for cargo. Local forwarders have, however, advised that a limited number of charter flights landed at Yangon in early February.
Potentially, US sanctions against Burmese military leaders could have widespread implications for the shipping industry due to the military’s ownership of the country’s ports.
Naturally, we are monitoring the situation and any impact it may have on our customers’ global supply chains. Our teams will continue to keep you updated, but should you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.