Supply chain, logistics and freight


COVID-19 has had a major impact on global shipping markets with the slump in demand for goods from China and other countries having an impact on supply chains in Canada.

Canadian ports remain open but may have a reduced workforce. Some retailers and manufacturers have however failed to pick up their cargo and containers because warehouses are full or closed which creates cargo congestion, which in turn may cause disruption of the supply chain, including movement of essential goods. Supply Chain Canada's open survey recently reported that 70% of respondents had seen disruptions to their Supply Chain by COVID-19.

Borders have been temporarily closed to non-Canadians, including the Canada-US border. However, cargo continues to move – ocean freight, air freight and cargo trucked into Canada from the US or moved domestically within Canada. Canada's sea ports have also not closed (except for limitations on cruise ships).

Air Canada and Air New Zealand direct flights between Vancouver and Auckland have ended, with the final flight on 29 March.

Due to reductions in international flights, goods will take longer to reach Canada. However, ports continue to remain open. The Canada/US border also remains open for trade and essential travel. If you are sending freight to Canada check with your freight forwarder to see what options are available and at what cost.

Advice for exporters

If you are sending freight to Canada, check with your freight forwarder to see what options are available and at what cost. It would also pay to check with your Customer Manager to see if they are aware if other options are being arranged.

Supply chains in Canada may have been disrupted. For instance, food processing and other essential equipment needs to continue to operate to feed Canadians. This may provide an opportunity for New Zealand exporters. NZTE suggests checking with Canadian plant managers to see if their supply chains are broken and if they are experiencing difficulty sourcing parts from China or Europe.

Further Resources

Exporters should maintain close contact with their preferred freight forwarders and shipping lines, who will be providing regular updates. For updates on the overall impacts to shipping and logistics, please see the sites below:

Contact NZTE

We're available to talk to you about any issues your export business is facing due to COVID-19.

For existing NZTE customers, please contact your New Zealand-based Customer Manager.

If you're unsure who to contact or haven't worked with us before, you can call NZTE on 0800 555 888 or email below and one of our Customer Advisors will help you.