Easyship Solutions & Updates

How the Coronavirus is Affecting Logistics, Toll Group Faces Potential Cyberattack & Canada Hit by Another Rail Blockade

Gayatri Bhaumik

by Gayatri Bhaumik

On 2020 M02 14

by Gayatri Bhaumik

Welcome to our latest eCommerce and logistics news roundup!

This week, we’re looking at the impact of the coronavirus on the global logistics industry, how a major Australian logistics company could potentially be dealing with a cyberattack, and discussing the ins and outs of the second blockade of the Canadian National Railways.

And, in case you missed our last logistics roundup, you can still read it by heading over here!

The Coronavirus Hits Logistics

The 2019 novel coronavirus - now officially named COVID-19 - is wreaking havoc on the global logistics industry. With shipping companies reducing the number of seaborne vessels going in and out of China in a bid to reduce the spread of the virus, trade routes between China and the rest of the world are being cut. In shipping alone, the coronavirus is already responsible for $350 million in losses each week.

With some 80% of the world’s goods being traded by sea and China home to seven of the world’s 10 busiest ports, experts predict that global shipping will experience a significant slowdown - and that there will be a backlog of goods. In fact, athleisure clothing producer Under Armour has announced that it expects to take a $50-$60 million hit during the first quarter of 2020 as a result of shipping delays.

In addition, many ships are being kept in a holding pattern, unable to dock in countries like Australia and Singapore until their crew has been declared virus-free.

Add to this the fact that many international couriers are reducing their Asian routes - and that the USPS has announced that it won’t accept mail destined for (or transitting through) China, Hong Kong or Macau - and it quickly becomes clear that the world’s logistics industry is already taking a hit.

Easyship’s Take: Unfortunately, there’s no upside to this just yet. In just a few weeks, the coronavirus has already impacted various industries and is set to have global economic repercussions the likes of which we haven’t seen in decades. We want to make sure you always have access to the latest information so you can brace for impact, so we will continue to share updated information through our blog regularly.

Toll Group Possibly Hit by Cyberattack

Toll Group, a major Australian transport and logistics company, announced over the weekend that may have experienced a cyberattack and has shut down a number of its IT systems in response.

As a result, several customer applications are currently down. The company has so far refused to release more details about the incident but says it’s working closely with cyber experts around the world to resolve any issues.

Toll currently serves 50 countries, many of them in the APAC region. The company offers a range of global express, freight forwarding, and logistics services.

Easyship’s Take: This could be bad news for Toll customers. At this stage, there’s no information about what systems have been breached, so it could mean that customer data could be at risk. In addition, customers won’t be able to use a number of Toll systems, which means they may need to find alternative options.

Canada National Railway Experiences Another Shutdown

The embattled Canada National Railway is suffering its second shutdown in recent months as indigenous Tyendinaga Mohawk protestors block railway tracks to protest a natural gas pipeline proposal that would cut through their traditional lands.

The company has had to shut down its Toronto-Montreal and Toronto-Ottowa passenger routes due to the blockade, canceling over 150 trains. Perhaps more importantly, the shutdown is also affecting trade routes and could result in serious economic consequences if consumer goods and essential supplies continue to be held up.

Easyship’s Take: Things could get dicey if the blockade doesn’t end soon. The railways are a major lifeline for Canada, transporting essentials like fuel and agricultural goods across the country and it could be problematic if supplies continue to be cut off. Of course, the blockade also means that passengers, mail, and consumer goods aren’t getting to where they need to be.