As everyone watches the ongoing West Africa Ebola virus outbreak, we all hope for the best. Hundreds of victims have been infected and died in the region. As a response, organizations sent medical professionals to help the sick in those nations. The international shipping industry is also taking precautions against the threat of the Ebola virus. If your business ships ocean freight containers around the globe, especially in the West African nations of Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, then this issue might concern you.
The threat of the Ebola Virus has already forced three shipping organizations to issue a Red Alert. Those three organizations are the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the International Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF). Recently, they announced guidelines for their shipping crews to ensure safety on the vessels that transport goods to or from West Africa.
The Journal of Commerce recently reported that many shipping companies are dismissing any worries regarding the Ebola virus. And even the World Health Organization agrees that transportation should not be a big problem. But there are still some shipping lines that are taking precautions. Some carriers might add a surcharge for transporting goods to or from West Africa. And some carriers might refuse to go to West Africa at all. There have even been reports of quarantining ships as a caution.
If you business needs to ship goods to or from West Africa during this crisis, speak to a freight forwarder who has great experience of shipping to that region.