As promised, this is to update you on the current situation at Jacobi Carbons and the way we are managing the consequences of the Corona crisis, making sure our people are safe and we serve you in the best way possible. The situation remains very dynamic: Sri Lanka is currently still our most impacted country as the Government is enforcing strict lockdowns in the region. Nearly 100 of our employees still cannot come to work even though they have tested negative. Our plants in India and the Philippines are both COVID-free which is a big relief. Our plant in France (JCF) has its first 2 cases though. Immediate tracing and preventive quarantine has been implemented which led to several team members not being able to come to the plant. Despite this, the team is able to run the plant. Ocean freight remains a serious issue as delays continue to be a reality and costs continue to rise.
Ocean Freight & Order prioritisation
As reported for some time, the shortage of ocean freight vessels continues to cause delays and increase cost on many routes (particularly to the USA, Australia and within South East Asia) and is worsened by port congestions in several countries, with Colombo, the main port hub in SE Asia currently hit by labour shortages. Below is the weekly update of the matrix showing the scale of risks of delays and cost increases on
the various regional routes from our Asia factories – the main changes are:
- China to Europe ocean freight has increased approx. $1,000 per container.
- Increasing difficulties and delays in shipping from India to North America, particularly US West Coast.
Please check for current best advice of possible impact on any open orders with critical timing and anticipate longer transit times when making future orders. Global Supply Chain will work with the sales regions to make sure that all available vessel space is prioritised to the most time critical and important orders.
Order planning for the last two months of 2020 has now been fixed and no further postponements of orders scheduled to ship in November and December can be accepted.
- In Sri Lanka the situation is still very tense and the local lock-downs are seriously impacting our operation at JCL. We still have around 100 employees unable to come to the factory and the coconut supply chain is partly interrupted. PCR tests were performed on 220 JCL team members in close cooperation with the local health authorities and we continue to test pro-actively (see pics). We are managing the plant with longer and fewer shifts, to ensure the production schedule is not too heavily impacted, but we fear this situation may last for a while.
- In India, we have recovered our whole workforce as we have no more employees in quarantine in both factories – this is a big relief! However, we remain very careful as a second wave of COVID19 is feared in the country in anticipation of the Deepavali holiday coming up.
- In The Philippines, our 3rd and 4th positive cases at JCX have tested negative which means that we are COVID19-free. However, our OGC sister factory DCCC in Davao had 2 positive cases and was forced to shut down for 5 days to sanitise the plant. Despite employees in quarantine, production is running with special shift arrangements
- The authorities in Malaysia have implemented stricter rules again to contain the spread of the virus. Our Malaysian team at JCA has returned to 100% home office again
- The plants in China and Vietnam and Japan are running well, still enforcing strict measures on social distancing and personal hygiene
- The charcoal supply continues to be limited in Philippines, due to the COVID19 situation and transport restrictions in Mindanao and between islands. The charcoal supply chain in Sri Lanka is also challenged due to the lock-downs. Fortunately, our inventory of charcoal is sufficient to deal with this set back.
- Germany: we continue to fully operate in Premnitz.
- Italy: we continue to fully operate in Basiano.
- UK: fully operational
- France: we have our first 2 COVID cases at JCF. As a result, tracing was done immediately and traced people were put into quarantine. Despite the drastic change, the team is able to continue running the plant.
The infection rates in several countries in Europe have increased above critical threshold levels. In several European countries, lock-downs have been implemented. Therefore, in countries like Spain, Germany, Italy, France and the UK we have reinforced measures to limit site access, restricted domestic travel to customers again and safeguard return to work policies.
Our production facility and warehouse locations remain fully operational, however, at a heightened sense of alert, as regional surges continue to occur. We have 1 person in the Columbus plant who showed COVID-symptoms. This person was put into preventive quarantine and tested. The test result is expected to come in during coming week. We continue our efforts at our facilities to maintain the highest focus on preventive measures to keep our people safe and to safeguard continuous operations.
As everyone is focusing heavily on controlling the spread of the virus and maximizing our production output to serve our customers, we are maintaining our focus on safety as well. There has been no change to our policy in the past weeks.
Thank you for your continued support!
Stay safe and take good care,
Remko Goudappel CEO
Jacobi Carbons AB