COVID-19 UPDATE 2020.03.19

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Firsd Tea shares the world’s concerns for colleagues, customers, and loved ones as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across the globe. It is our hope that we all can remain healthy and come through this crisis unharmed.

We would like to share the latest information regarding the status of Firsd Tea’s order processing and logistics according to current conditions



As per our Feb 27 update, China ports are resuming normal operations. The steady flow of Firsd Tea container orders appears to support this understanding. Offices and Zhejiang Tea Group (ZJT) operations continue to return to normal. The city of Wuhan also appears to be returning to normal. Our colleagues at ZJT report Hubei tea harvests are currently passing through Wuhan on their way to final processing facilities in Zhejiang Province. China’s rate of recovery and timing of Spring tea harvests aligns with previous reports that teas for the export market have not been seriously impacted by disruptions.


Here in the US, Firsd Tea maintains regular contact with our brokers and other contacts for US ports of entry and Customs offices. At this time, reports are as follows:

Firsd Tea’s primary ports of entry are the Los Angeles and Newark areas.

  • Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach agree to cooperate to enhance efficiency and improve security
  • Ports of New York, Newark, and Elizabeth NJ have released no information
  • The port of Houston has announced terminals will be closed until further notice


Our warehouse partners on the East and West coast have affirmed that their locations, number of facilities, and transportation capabilities enable them to meet potential challenges. In separate letters from these facilities, they affirm:

  • The company(ies) have a plan to relocate workers between facilities in the event manpower is impacted at a single location
  • The company(ies) have contracts with temporary employment agencies if the need arises to secure additional labor
  • The company(ies) have the ability to relocate product and work to other facilities through the utilization of their own trucking assets


Firsd Tea employs multiple transport services, depending on size of order and customer preferences. While not all of our partners have issued a statement, major logistics providers have issued statements similar to this one from UPS:

From the outset, UPS has maintained delivery services except where limited by government restrictions. We have also worked in partnership with governments around the world to obtain exceptions that allow our shipments to continue in restricted areas…. As this situation is evolving rapidly, we have created a web page with information on how UPS is responding to COVID-19 and tools you can use during this time.

Trucking services have issued statements outlining policies and contingency plans that include:

  • distancing of drivers and staff as much as possible
  • limiting/restriction of non-essential personnel in their offices and facilities
  • identification of, and contingency planning for key personnel to maintain business continuity


Given the continued support and positive news we are receiving from our allies and partners in the supply chain, Firsd Tea has been able to continue receiving new teas into inventory and providing timely service to our customers. Based on recent customer requests, some of the more immediate shipments coming in from China include these teas:

Due to recent, unexpected spikes in order size and frequency, Firsd Tea has experienced some surges in demand. Some teas that are a regular part of our US inventory are now on backorder, and some quantities of teas that have only recently left China are already sold out before they land in US ports.

Firsd Tea strongly encourages our customers to reach out to find out more about securing the teas you need for business continuity during this volatile period.


In accordance with industry guidelines of The Tea Association of the USA, Firsd Tea provides this risk assessment information regarding imported tea products:

Tea Leaf

  • due to generally long transportation times from origin, the risk of infection is very low

Spray Dried Extracts

  • due to high temperatures employed in the spray drying process the risk is very low

Liquid Extracts:

  • most, if not all, liquid extracts are either pasteurized or UHT treated, reducing the risk to virtually nil

The Tea Association’s position is that there is no need to be concerned about the risk of coronavirus infection from imported tea products.

For more information, contact:

Firsd Tea North America