COVID-19 Bulletin: June 19

June 19, 2020 • Posted in News

Good Afternoon,

More COVID-19 news relevant to the plastics industry:

Supply

  • Oil prices were higher in early trading today, with WTI up 2.8% to $39.92/bbl and Brent up 2.1% to $42.37/bbl.
  • An estimated 15,000 U.S. oil field workers were displaced in May, bringing total job losses in the sector during the pandemic to nearly 85,000, according to the Petroleum Equipment and Services Association.
  • This week’s State Department warning about travel in Mexico was prompted in part by a rise in piracy in the Gulf of Mexico aimed at tankers and offshore oil platforms.
  • Africa, home to some massive oil and gas discoveries recently, has seen its active rig count fall by half in the past month. 
  • Marathon Petroleum resumed shopping its Speedway gas station business unit after prior efforts to divest the business were interrupted by the pandemic.

Supply Chain

M. Holland COVID-19 June 19 Bulletin Port Status Chart

Markets

  • The Federal Reserve’s Main Street Lending Program, intended to provide low-cost loans to companies with fewer than 15,000 employees, is off to a slow start, with many banks reluctant to participate and tepid interest from potential borrowers.
  • California issued new directives requiring face masks in most settings outside the home as the state faces record levels of new infections.
  • Fourteen workers at BMW’s 11,000-employee Spartanburg, South Carolina, facility have been quarantined with COVID-19, but the infections have not disrupted operations.
  • As it reopens walk-in restaurants, McDonald’s plans to maintain a simplified menu after seeing service levels and margins improve during the pandemic.
  • Ridesharing service Lyft faces many obstacles to achieving its just-announced goal to move to 100% electric vehicles by 2030, including recruiting drivers and navigating a still-evolving recharging infrastructure.
  • According to an eight-point plan for reopening from Bloomberg, protocols for returning to the office must pay particular attention to coffee machines, elevators and restrooms, the most vulnerable areas for virus spread.
  • Studies are underway to determine if fitness trackers such as Fitbit and the Apple Watch can detect the earliest signs of COVID-19 infections.
  • Total confirmed COVID-19 cases passed 8.5 million globally.

International

  • The U.K., ranked third globally for COVID-19 fatalities, lowered its alert level to Level 3.
  • Community pots” are becoming ubiquitous in parts of Latin America as displaced workers, lacking unemployment benefits and ill-equipped to work from home, struggle to feed their families. The mass gatherings threaten to accelerate the spread of the virus.
  • We’re seeing container shortages in some areas because of disrupted global trading patterns.

Our Operations

  • With the economy reopening and volume trends improving, we are selectively lifting our hiring freeze to backfill some open positions.
  • Our 3D Printing team has designed innovative tools to assist us in eventually reopening our offices, including a hands-free dispenser for hand sanitizer, a low-contact thermometer, and a multi-purpose tool for opening doors and completing other tasks.
  • Our white paper on materials selection for medical devices, referenced during last week’s webinar, is available here.
  • For clients seeking the convenience of accessing order status, order history, invoices, bills of lading and other information online, contact Tara Cutaia, Director of Client Experience, to sign up for our proprietary MHX app.
  • To access 3D printing training, order parts and seek technical assistance, visit our new online resource.
  • Resource Center: M. Holland offers a host of resources to clients, prospects and suppliers. To arrange a videoconference or meeting, contact:
    • For Technical questions, contact Paul Lorigan, Manager of the M. Holland Technical Innovation Center.
  • M. Holland’s official status statement is available here.

Thank you,

M. Holland Company

We will provide further COVID-19 bulletins as circumstances dictate. For all COVID-19 updates and notices, please refer to the M. Holland website.

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