Industry information - Coronavirus

Impact on orders

Following the extension of the Chinese New Year holiday, factories remained closed for longer than expected.  This has led to supply chain disruption and shipment delays due to the backlog of orders. In some cases orders are being cancelled by factories as they were not able to manufacture and deliver in time.
The BPMA has received reports indicating the number of workers returning to factories after the break had reduced and also some factories were yet to re-open. Reports have also been received stating that some restrictions placed on factories are being now released subject to certain conditions leading to a gradual progression of staff returning to work and factories slowly returning to capacity.
Companies are also sending goods out of China from Hong Kong, causing inevitable bottlenecks. Services are under stress as companies seek urgent solutions to these challenges. While orders are coming through via these alternative routes, this may change as the situation continues to evolve.

Is it safe to receive a package from China?
The exact dynamics of how the virus is transmitted is yet to be determined, as well as the extent of contamination on products or surfaces, however, according to the World Health Organisation, people receiving packages from China are not at risk of contracting the new Coronavirus. From previous analysis, they know coronaviruses do not survive long on objects such as letters or packages.

What can you do?
There are a number of measures you can take to ensure continuation of the commercial aspects of your business and also those related to your workforce.

  • Carry out a risk assessment of all orders that rely on a Chinese supply chain and liaise with your supplier/importer/wholesaler for an update on the orders.
  • Manage the expectation with your clients, in particular those with critical delivery dates for specific campaign or event activity.
  • As the virus has now spread to the UK, companies are advised to implement hygiene measures, taking note of the guidance provided by the World Health Organisation on basic protective measures against the new coronavirus
  • Ensure that your Disaster Recovery Plans and Business Continuity Plans are up to date and tested. They should include a processes based on the possibility of a human pandemic.
The Government has also provided information and advice for the public from the Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England, including the current situation in the UK and information about the virus and its symptoms
As further information is provided, this will be communicated to the industry.
During these times of uncertainty causing production and logistics delays within the affected supply chains, the BPMA would like to ask for patience and understanding from Members, the wider industry and those companies buying promotional merchandise, as the industry tries to minimise the impact while recognising that the health and safety of workers should be the first priority.

The BPMA will communicate any further information when provided, however, should you have any concerns please contact the BPMA on or 01372 371 184.
Posted on Friday, February 21, 2020 12:00 AM