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COVID-19 Update

Last updated: May 27, 7:51 am EST

How is GoShip.com helping small businesses?

GoShip.com is donating 100% of its profits from April and May to help the response to COVID-19. GoShip.com will be donating the profits to the CDC Foundation’s Emergency Response Fund, which provides support to rapidly emerging response needs related to COVID-19. To learn more, click here. If you are interested in learning more about the CDC Foundation or would like to donate, click here.

With the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the world, state governments are issuing orders that suggest closures of non-essential business. This order mainly applies to small businesses, which produce almost half of the U.S. gross domestic product.

GoShip.com wants to give our customers an update on COVID-19 and how it is affecting our shippers and carriers.

At what stage are states and businesses with the reopening?

As of the end of May, most of the US states have reopened. All of the states started to lift restriction measures, with people being allowed to go back to offices, restaurants, churches, etc. So many businesses have started to gradually reopen as well.

Check the state-by-state reopening status here

How does COVID-19 affect small businesses and shipping?

According to a recent survey by the National Small Business Association, most small business owners see economic uncertainty and a drop in demand as a primary challenge.

So far, there has been a wave of state “stay-at-home orders” regarding public gatherings and closing of non-essential businesses. For more information on specific states, click here.

What measures is the government taking to prevent a small business crisis?

Recently, Trump Administration has issued a $7 billion disaster loan for small businesses with less than 4% interest, and Congress is considering to greatly expand it to as much as $300 billion. In addition to governmental loans, state officials are also taking initiatives and offer various aid packages.

What travel restrictions are currently in place?

As of the end of May, many travel restrictions have been lifted, and some are still remaining in place. Check more about travel in the US here

The U.S. has partially closed borders with Mexico and Canada for non-essential travel. This order does not affect freight shipping, commercial transportation, and trade. Also, the 30-day travel ban, that went into effect on March 13, also does not apply to freight shipping.

The government has issued a Domestic Travel Advisory, which suggests recommended restrictions on internal travel for certain states. Read the full order here.

Should I expect shipment delays?

Due to facility shutdowns and the spread of COVID-19, some companies can take longer to deliver shipments. On behalf of freight carriers, there shouldn’t be any significant changes, but it’s better to contact your carrier for more information.

What happens if I ship to a non-essential business in the affected states?

If you are preparing to ship goods, contact your carrier first to receive accurate information on the restrictions in the particular state. However, if anything changes while the shipment is already in transit, there are two outcomes. Once the carrier receives your shipment and realizes that the receiver business is in the affected state, the shipment will be returned to the origin or kept in the nearest warehouse. If this happens to you while shipping with GoShip.com, please contact us.

Where can I get information on the Small Business Association (SBA) disaster loans?

In March, the Trump Administration issued a $7 billion disaster loan for small businesses with low interest, and Congress is considering to greatly expand it (to as much as $300 billion). In addition to governmental loans, state officials are also taking initiatives and offering various aid packages. If your business is facing challenges, consider looking at the terms and conditions, and apply for a loan.

Apply for the SBA disaster loan here.

If the customer was open when the shipment was picked up, and closed now, do they still get their delivery?

We recommend contacting the shipper/carrier/consignee directly for more information. By default, if the customer is closed, the shipment will be sent back to the origin or a nearby warehouse. If this happened to you while shipping with GoShip.com, please contact us.

Is it possible to get infected after touching a package?

The virus is mainly transmitted through air droplets, that sometimes land on surfaces and items. Although it is possible to get the virus from a surface of an object, it is unlikely. The virus survives on surfaces from several hours to a day. So, it is not dangerous for freight shipments, as long as you comply with the WHO recommendations.

How and when are businesses going to reopen?

On April 16, President Trump announced the plan for country reopening, giving the freedom of choice to state governments, telling that they can gradually reopen businesses by May 1 or earlier. The White House released a set of measures that envision the country’s slow return to normal life, including reopening on restaurants, schools, businesses, etc. The reopening will take place on a patchwork basis, meaning each state will define its own timeline and pace. “We are not opening all at once, but one careful step at a time,” said Mr. Trump.

Read the full plan for Reopening America

How to stay safe and keep operating?

  • Arrange work-from-home for everyone possible in your company
  • Cancel and prohibit all travel for employees, and implement self-isolation for those returning from trips
  • Increase cleaning and disinfecting measures in your offices, facilities, and warehouses
  • Provide your employees who are on duty with required protective supplies: sanitizers, masks, gloves, disinfecting wipes, etc.
  • Implement a strict health and safety policy within your company

For more detailed instructions, see the WHO guide on COVID-19.