One of the most essential industries during the COVID-19 pandemic is shipping, but how safe are shipped goods and products from the transmission of coronaviruses? Much about the transmission of germs and viruses fall within the domain of proper hygiene and best practices, but many people are asking if the novel coronavirus travels on product packaging. Here’s what the Australian Government has to say about the matter.
Department of Health
All mail and cargo workers should consult the Department of Health’s information sheet with regards to working safely during the pandemic. In summary, the government states that precautions should be followed to prevent the spread of germs and viruses as follows:
Wash hands frequently with soap and warm water
Maintain social distancing of at least 1.5 metres
Cover coughs and sneezes and wash hands afterwards
How Long Does the Virus Last on Packaging?
The Australian Government has stated that the novel coronavirus does not pose any significant threat on mail or parcels since it doesn’t live long enough on these surfaces. Since mail and parcels can take many days, weeks, or even longer to arrive in Australia from abroad, any potential contact with the coronavirus won’t have been able to survive by the time it arrives.
A number of other companies including Australia Post have proactively published guidance for their customers that may be concerned about potential contact with the novel coronavirus on mail or parcels. They state that coronaviruses that may have come into contact with packages will have died off after a few hours. Consequently, it’s safe to process and accept packages from Australia or abroad.
For those looking for a little extra peace of mind, consider handling and opening packages with disposable gloves and personal safety equipment.
Potential Risks With Package Handling
Since packages are handled by people every step of the way along the supply chain, there is always some danger of transmission between employees and drivers as well as from delivery drivers to the recipient. This further emphasises the guidance of the government to ensure that all cargo and mail workers do their part and exercise proper handwashing and social distancing at all times.
How Does the Pandemic Affect Shipping?
In addition to the threat posed by the virus itself, lockdowns and prioritisation of essential goods such as medical shipments and food over non-essential shipments will inevitably lead to delays. As such, it’s best to notify customers that delays are to be expected due to the pandemic for non-essential goods and products. People have little choice but to accept the current circumstances, but it’s best to be straightforward and to let them know rather than to give false hopes.
Even with tight supply lines and delays for non-essential products, most people are stuck at home in self-isolation and therefore home deliveries are an increasingly attractive and feasible option for residential customers.
It’s important that your business’ logistics are handled in a safe and hygienic manner so as to curb the spread of this terrible disease, so don’t take your chances. Organise your freight and shipping in an efficient manner by letting the experts at Freightbroker Australia find the best modes and routes to deliver your goods safely.