Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Coronavirus closes Chinese printers; Australian publishers expect delays

Australian trade publishers are anticipating delays to some book supply due to printer closures in China.

In response to the coronavirus outbreak in China, there is a compulsory closure of all factories, banks, and offices until 10 February. There are also reports that shipping companies are expecting some delays in Chinese ports, sea freight and air freight deliveries.

Hardie Grant production manager Todd Rechner told Books+Publishing the publisher is currently anticipating ‘a 7–10 day delay to current print schedules’, and that it is ‘working closely with its suppliers to absorb any additional delays’.

‘Most commercial printers are expected to resume operations by 10 February, provided current guidance and guidelines from Beijing aren’t revised. Any schedule delays will be specific to individual printers and publishers and will require prioritisation and continuous monitoring,’ said Rechner.

‘A knock-on effect will be varying delays in commercial and public transport across China, there will be a high demand for commercial transport to ports and public transport as the bulk of the workforce return to work. Undoubtedly the situation remains fluid, so measures are being taken to prioritise print and delivery in order minimise any disruption to retail.’

Hachette production manager Isabel Staas said: ‘We are in regular contact with [our suppliers in China] and are monitoring the situation, however it is likely that we will experience some delays, both in terms of production schedules and shipping, as a result of extended factory closures and the anticipated backlog when they do reopen. We will have further information early next week on whether planned factory re-openings on 10 February will go ahead and will assess the situation further then.’

Scribble project editor Kate O’Donnell acknowledged the children’s publisher would face some delays in production and supply, but said ‘it’s not yet sure what the scale will be’.

‘We’re in good communication with our regular printers, but are also investigating print options outside mainland China,’ said O’Donnell.

 

Category: Local news

 

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