What Does The Coronavirus Mean For Dropshipping?

ecommerce shipping from china to the rest of the world

The information in this article should not be taken wholly as advice. For definitive information on Wuhan coronavirus please contact the relevant organizations. This article will be updated as more information becomes available.

With the continued worldwide spread of Wuhan coronavirus, the Chinese government is taking precautions to keep local and international populations safe. 

So far this has included steps such as placing lockdowns on Chinese cities, temporarily shutting down public transport – including airports, train stations, and long-distance transportation – closing theme parks, closing factories, and restricting travel to certain areas.

With this swift action, we are hopeful that this situation will be resolved quickly and without any further harm and danger to those in affected areas.

However, given that restrictions are currently in place, logistics companies are experiencing disruptions to their operations, meaning there will be delays on transporting any orders from China, including from dropshipping suppliers. 

If you are a dropshipper and selling items from an AliExpress supplier, this means your products might have lengthy delays reaching your customers.

I’m a Dropshipper. What Should I Do?

With many manufacturing and logistics facilities shut temporarily, we recommend you prepare for delays and take that into account before continuing to run paid ads and take orders. It is a good idea to check with your supplier, but assume that your items will not be shipped promptly.

It’s also worth noting that with Chinese New Year celebrations currently underway, many suppliers and manufacturers will already be on holiday. However, shutdowns due to the coronavirus could mean that there are longer-than-expected closures.

If you have current orders that you are concerned will not be fulfilled, we strongly recommend you contact the buyers and inform them of the situation. You may need to prepare them for delays.

For information on how to handle customer refunds or complaints, we have many articles with useful information on the topic:

When Will Factories Be Reopened?

At this stage, it’s uncertain when manufacturers and suppliers will begin operating as usual. Factories shutdowns have taken place at various locations throughout China, and logistics companies will not be able to start moving items until transport routes are reopened.

With the Chinese government taking quick action to stop the spread of the disease, if the coronavirus does not spread rapidly beyond the Hubei province, normal supplier and logistics activity could potentially resume February.

Do Packages Pose a Risk to Customers?

According to the CDC, there is no evidence to suggest that coronavirus has been transmitted through imported goods and packages.

While coronaviruses are transmitted person-to-person through respiratory droplets from coughs or sneezes, they generally have poor survival on surfaces. This means there is likely a very low risk of the current virus spreading from products or packaging that have been shipped over days or weeks at ambient temperatures.

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