Coronavirus Could Hit Construction Supply Chains Next

A clear picture of the global economic impact of the deadly coronavirus has begun to emerge, and U.S. real estate companies are monitoring how the crisis could play out on construction sites and in development pipelines.

Complete Manufacturing & Distribution founder Paul Stepanek, who advises companies on getting supplies in Asia and works with hundreds of factories in China, said different areas in China seem to have different rules with the pathogen, which originated in Wuhan, the capital of the Hubei province.

In one region, he said, factory owners were threatened with fines if there was a case of the virus detected at their business. Others are providing free train tickets and chartered planes for people to come back to their homes to work. 

“It’s very patchy, but I would say the silver lining, if you will, is that things are moving. Customs is open, trucks can make pickups and deliveries,” Stepanek said. “What we had forecasted to ship in February, there is no way we are going to be able to hit that volume. The factories simply were not open.”

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