Business routines are returning to normality, but the logistics industry is facing increased production time, abnormal high costs, overbooked vessels and shortage of equipment. As the world reopened, delayed cargo and new orders led to enormous demand.
This does not mean that we do not get cargo out, but it can take longer to acquire equipment and space.
India has a rising in the number of cases for Coronavirus and is now only second to the USA; recording over 8.6 million cases. Despite the startling numbers, India has managed to achieve a recovery rate of about 90% (estimated at 8 million cases)!
Some carriers offer alternate routing options, but it comes with multiple transshipments thereby increasing the transit time - a shipment that took 28 days to arrive at a POD is now taking up to 40-45 days. On the contrary, airline operations and their frequency have improved. There is some respite with a slight drop in rates with many airline operators resuming their services.
Due to the increased demand along with Christmas holiday season, international trade has been at its peak since October. In the meantime, COVID-19 the export of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) continued a massive increase in volume. Thus, the combined factors make the situation even more challenging.
By Q3, China Railway Express had operated 8,756 shifts, up 46% from last year; and the number in a single month exceeded 1,200. The total cargo volume hits a record high.
However, the industry is facing a serious shortage of containers and shipping space, so we recommend customers to book two weeks in advance. Freight rates remain stable and will be adjusted quarterly.
Container shortage is a major issue. The status quo may continue until Chinese New Year 2021, according to industry analysis. Congested ports, tight shipping space, and skyrocketing freight rates are the result. Customers are advised to book 45 days in advance as delays of up to one week or more are possible.
Rates on the two routes out of China to the EU and the US continue to remain high. The sharply increasing export demand for newly available electronics with high added value is putting pressure on air freight, causing capacity constraints to a certain extent. We encourage customers to book flights one week in advance.
On November 3, 2020, the Ministry of Finance, the General Administration of Customs, and the General Administration of Taxation jointly issued a public announcement on the taxation of goods returned for export. For goods declared for export from January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020, and reshipped into the country in their original condition within one year from the date of export due to COVID-19 epidemic, Import duties and value-added tax and excise tax on imports are not levied; if export duties have already been levied at the time of export, then export duties will be refunded.
Business as usual.
Our services in the Netherlands are fully operative and experience minor impact from the reinforced lockdown. The government discourages travelling outside of the Netherlands until mid-January 2021 unless essential. As the logistics sector is vital, all cross-border logistics operations are classified as essential travelling. All operations are required to comply with the applicable corona guidelines.
Belgium and Luxembourg
The Belgian government is limiting border traffic and have introduced a curfew from 12 AM to 5 AM. Nonetheless, logistics operations are not affected by the current measures in Belgium.
In Luxembourg, the cases of COVID are currently increasing. Therefore the country took different measures, including the introduction of a curfew from 11 PM to 6 AM. However, the logistics sector is not affected by these preventative measures.
ColliCare TR have been working full time since July.
Export volumes are ok, but we are experiencing problems on our routes to Europe and the Nordics. Border crossing, obtaining Schengen visa for the drivers, road permission/transit documents are slower than normal.
Since the beginning of October, the truckers cannot obtain transit documents for Hungary, Greece, Slovenia and Czechia. For this reason, they use alternative routes which means time loss and extra costs. This also extends the transit times with 4-5 days. As a side effect, the imbalance between export and import brings equipment availability problems.
Vessels have to be followed up for schedule on an hourly basis to find a space, and there is a shortage of equipment. The prices are very high.
Flights to limited countries but not daily. Space is sparse and rates are high. Cargo Flights are working on limited days and with some transaction delays.
The government has enforced several restrictions like lockdown during the night, circulation between regions, closure of some activities like restaurants in the evening. Regions have been classified in 3 colours (red, orange, yellow) with various restrictions based on the different level of alert.
The manufacturing industry is working as normal. Our customers come from many different sectors and regions, so we are not afraid to be stopped. So far our trains are running as usual and.
Rail is working at max capacity, and our multimodal department is assisting with cargo.
Distribution is busy, safety measures are being taken to ensure safe delivery and presentation to customers.
The number of cases increasing, government keeping a close eye on development and tightening the restrictions. No big issues in relation to the logistic industry or our drivers.