At ColliCare we are monitoring the situation with the Coronavirus / Covid-19, especially in Europe and China. We will update as soon as we have relevant information, or the situation changes in a way that it can affect our operations.
Coronavirus - update week 47, November 2020
Capacity problems in Asia slowing down imports to Europe. Our sea, rail and air departments are working hard with alternative solutions.
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.
Capacity problems in Asia slowing down imports, but our sea, rail and air departments are working hard on solutions, and they are also keeping customers informed on a regular basis.
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.
Business routines are returning to normality, but the logistics industry is facing increased production time, abnormal high costs, overbooked vessels and shortage of container equipment. As the world reopened, delayed cargo and new orders led to enormous demand.
Ships are left waiting for unloading and the unloading takes longer than usual. We are therefore experiencing an increase in transit time, at the same time as shipping companies are introducing shiny sailings to have enough containers to fill their ships, as well as to handle the situation in Europe. The imbalance continues and we are now experiencing a critical equipment shortage throughout Asia. The situation is particularly acute in Shanghai, Shenzhen, Ningbo, Dalian, Tianjin, Qingdao, Xiamen and Fuzhou.
This does not mean that we do not get cargo out, but it can take longer to acquire equipment and space.
The logistic sector not too much affected by the preventative measures like lock downs and regulations across the continent.
Sea and rail freight are fully operating, capacity adjusted to cater for increase in demand. Still both predictable and offering favourable rates.
Air freight for all markets still experience a low capacity due to lack of passenger flights. The result is very high prices and unfortunately poor flexibility. We expect this situation to last until the passenger traffic reopens.
Road freight is still slowed down some due to border controls. Capacity is good, still some challenges with drivers having problems travelling between home countries and work countries.
Turkey is experiencing some problems on routes to Europe and the Nordics. Issues like border crossing, obtaining Schengen visa for drivers, road permission / transit documents are keeping our staff busy.
Since the beginning of October, the truckers cannot provide any transit document for Hungary, Greece, Slovenia and Czechia. For this reason, they use alternative routes like going via Ukraine or Austria which means time loss and extra costs. This also extend the transit times like 4-5 days. As a side effect, the imbalance between export and import brings equipment availability problems.
Norway is feeling the capacity problems in Asia slowing down imports, but our sea, rail and air departments are working hard on solutions, and they are also keeping customers informed on a regular basis.
Distribution nationally is busy, safety measures are being taken to ensure safe delivery and presentation to customers in all countries we operate.
The Coronavirus situation, with lockdowns at factories and suppliers, has challenged our skilled logistics staff and forced us to find new alternatives for our customers.
The normal import/export balance has been affected, and in some countries, the equipment is not positioned correctly to make transports of goods problem-free.
Nordics; Intra Nordic transports are only slightly affected. There have not been any problems at borders and all public services like customs are operative. We experience higher demand than available capacity on the truck and driver side, influencing service level in some areas.
Container and truck market in Europe; Sea freight within Europe is stabile and on-route. For road freight several borders still have extra temporary controls, slowing international traffic down slightly. Capacity is ok, some challenges with drivers, and they have problems travelling between home countries and work countries.
Air freight market, worldwide; As most of the passenger traffic is closed down, the air freight capacity is extremely low. The result is very high prices and unfortunately poor flexibility. We expect this situation to last until the passenger traffic reopens.
Asian sea freight market; China is in a recovery state, and production sites are now fully operative again. Many vessels are in schedule of installing scrubbers to satisfy the demands of the new standard of green ejection. India has been in a lockdown situation, as from this week some areas are opened and only contaminated areas are still under lockdown.
On exports from Asia, the capacity on the vessels is now under extreme pressure. We struggle to secure space for all containers.
Rail services from Italy to Scandinavia and from China to Europe and Scandinavia have not been affected at any time and is fully operative – good transit times and favourable rates.
The Government has announced that the lock-down will now be extended until April 14, 2020. No sea freight that are not already initiated from/to India will not be possible until lock-down is over. Airfreight can in some cases be possible. Please contact for assistance.
The Norwegian Directorate of Health has extended the period for the already implemented actions and restrictions to stop the spread of the Coronavirus in Norway, it is now valid through the 13th of April. Transportation of goods are exempted from travel restrictions, and are still defined as a critical function for society, and we are operating all services. Our staff and facilities are working according to our contingency plans, and we are following the recommended guidelines from the Directorate of Health.
Transport prices during this crisis:
The transport market is heavily influenced by the coronavirus situation. In some cases costs are drastically increased. In these cases we will contact our customer and discuss possibilities. This may occur even if there is a price agreement in place.
New restrictions in Italy: New restrictions in Italy has been implemented, but our rail services to the Nordics are operating as usual. However we encourage our customers to contact their producers/suppliers to check if they are affected. Our staff in Italy will assist you in finding solutions for collection of your goods. Please contact us if you are concerned about your shipment.
International freight in Europe and from Asia: Most services are reported to operate as usual.
Collections in Europe: There are some issues with collection of goods in some parts of Europe, but we are monitoring the situation closely and will assist you in finding solutions.
Export from India: The Indian Government has issued a lock-down in several districts in the country, valid through to the 31st of March. This affects both manufacturers/suppliers and the transportation of goods. Ports in India are reported to be closed as well, and this will affect export of goods. Our office in India and your contacts in any of the other ColliCare departments will assist you have questions regarding your shipments.
Sea and rail freight are operating as usual, without delays. Sea freight is our recommended mode of transport at this time.
Road transport in Europe:
Border controls are enforced at many border crossings in Europe, and this affects road transport. Transportation of goods are generally exempted from regular travel restrictions and quarantine rules, but they still have to document their need to cross on every single border in Europe. Our operations are reporting an increase in queues at borders, especially in Southern and Eastern part of Europe.
We are also seeing some capacity issues on drivers, due to an unusually high demand in the market.
Ferries in the Nordics are also affected, which results in higher prices. This can cause some delays, as we have to direct the cargo to alternative routes.
CAF - Currency adjustment factor:
Due to the unstable currency in Norway, the CAF will be updated on a daily basis.
There has not been reported any significant delays or short comings in our operations in Europe.
As China is getting back to normal, the situation in Europe and other parts of the world is unpredictable and we are seeing several countries taking actions to limit the transmission of the virus.
As a global company we are taking measures to keep our employees, customers, subcontractors and partners safe and healthy. All are advised to follow ColliCare’s Coronavirus guidelines, and the recommendations from local health authorities and Government.
We have executed continency plans to ensure operations at all our facilities worldwide, and we are committed to make sure our customers still experience operations at a satisfactory level.
Closing of borders and travel restrictions across Europe has caused some minor delays on our road transport. For most countries drivers and personnel of goods transport are exempted from quarantine regulations and travel restrictions, and therefore able to cross international borders as usual.
European countries have opposed measurements to control further outbreak of the Covid-19 virus. ColliCare support the priority on health and safety of our customer, suppliers and employees by following the recommendations of the WHO organisation and national governmental institutions.
Our distribution terminals and warehouses have introduced strict measures to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. We are nevertheless able to handle and distribute goods for our customers.
We play an active part in the food supply chain, and so far no quarantine decisions have directly influenced our service.
The closing of borders, ferry operations that partly stop and other unforeseen issues might have consequences on the transit times, but this is difficult to predict at this stage. As there is no central approach in Europe, some uncertainties for cargo transport between European countries might appear. We will update you accordingly.
In the Netherlands both trailer transport and container transport are operating, and we keep all options open to change modality from ROAD to SEA were possible to be able to keep a reliable supply chain for our customers.
In Norway drivers and personnel of goods and passenger transport are exempted from quarantine decisions when travelling outside the Nordic countries. Drivers with symptoms or that fulfil the demands of quarantine with regards to contact with confirmed infected person, will be side-lined as regulations set by the Department of Health.
Our distribution drivers are taking precautions; keep a distance of 1-2 meters to others, avoid social gatherings in the terminal, no access to the administration building, and the other way around, sign on behalf of the customer to avoid contact, always write down the name of the customer, and document with photos when possible. The driver should always carry with them hand sanitizer in their van, and use this before and after delivery.
In our terminals and warehouses, everyone must wear gloves and change them regularly. Work machines and door handles are disinfected regularly. Those employees with critical work that cannot be done from home are following the recommendations from the health authorities with regards to hygiene. Drivers delivering goods to us are not allowed access to the terminals. We unload the goods ourselves to avoid contact with the drivers.
The situation for our personnel is closely monitored, and we have mapped out who from administration and the leader group that can assist in the terminal if necessary.
There are no major delays due to measures taken so far, but we ask for your understanding that these measures put a strain on the running of our operations.
We monitor all developments closely, and will keep you informed accordingly. The business contingency plan for ColliCare Logistics has been activated.
We have created a page for the latest developments and status regarding Coronavirus, and the implications it could have on our services.
Sea freight: The Government's decision to close Norwegian ports from Monday, March 16 at 8AM does not apply to cargo transport, only international passenger traffic:
Air freight: Norwegian airports are not closing. Transport and the provision of goods will continue:
Airfreight is running as normal. Some challenges in/out of Italy may occur, but so far we have managed all shipments. Flights to and from USA might get restrictions soon, and we are following this closely and will update with new information. As for China there are some capacity issues with cargo in/out, but borders are open and there has not been reported any major delays.
Imports from Asia are quickly increasing, as China is getting back on their feet. Imports to Nordics and Europe by sea are on time. Some challenges with the export, as all equipment now must be moved back to Asia.
Our rail solution from Modena in Italy are not affected and is on route, it arrives every Monday on Rolvsøy terminal in Fredrikstad. Our other rail solutions to from Italy to the Nordics are also reported to operate as usual.
The Norwegian Directorate of Health has issued information sheet to advice about the spread of the Coronavirus in Norway:
The emergency response committee considers transport and personell related to supply chain as functions critical to society, and we are therefore obliged to operate as normal.
Drivers and personnel of goods and passenger transport are exempted from quarantine decisions when traveling outside the Nordic countries. This also includes personnel needed to carry out the transport.We have introduced guidelines and action for all our facilities and staff in Norway, according to the recommendations from the Directorate of Health. And we are organising our staff to make sure we can operate at a satisfactory level.
Status for operations:
There has not been reported any significant delays or short comings in our operations in Europe.
Shipping lines are implementing equipment imbalance charge on exports, and feeder service from continental Europe to the Nordics are operating at lower frequency due to the delays in import from China.
Italy is now considered to be under strict surveillance and with limited mobility of people.
All this is done to limit the contemporary contagion of the population which, however, can move to go to work and to return home.
On respect of the Decree we can also confirm that, on our specific case :
trucks and everything connected to our logistics operations in Italy, including our rail service from Parma to the Nordics will be able to operate without any limitation
The decree is valid till 3-4-2020
Other countries in Europe:
Several countries are recommending to limit travel, and have enforced quarantine rules on people coming from areas labelled as high risk. Many countries have also decided to cancel events to prevent large gatherings of people.
In general, almost 75% of manufacturing enterprises have restarted production at early March. The social economic activities are back to normal by middle March, except Hubei/Wuhan region which is estimated late April.
Shipping by sea and domestic road traffic are running as normal since the end of February, all deep sea ports are open, both terminals and depots in coastal area.
Air freight service is only available by charter and cargo freighters, capacity volume is far less than market demand after production is back to normal.
ColliCare offers rail service from China to Europe, that is a feasible option to customers who are heavily impacted by blank sailings and cancelled flights in February. The transit time of 14-16 days is maintained from Xi'An, Hefei, Zhengzhou, Chengdu and Chongqing to European main hubs, during the coronavirus epidemic.
Following the mandatory extension of CNY holidays, businesses are slowly returning to normal in most places. At this stage, we follow the safety measures to safeguard the health and well-being of our employees, and employees in offices and storage have been back to workplace accordingly.
We will continue to monitor the situation and keep our customers and other business partners updated on developments which may affect our operations and processes. As your logistics service provider, we will fully utilize our strength to solicit additional capacities.
Chinese authorities have imposed safety measures on the Chinese population.
Chinese authorities have imposed safety measures on the Chinese population, due to the Coronavirus (covid-19). This has implications for many producers, which again can lead to problems with deliveries.
The safety measures are also affecting travel, and several major passenger airlines have cancelled their flights to and from China the following weeks. In summary this leaves us with a certain amount of uncertainty with regards to logistics and capacity for the various modes of export in the near future. We therefore recommend you to book well in advance.
ColliCare China cares strongly for their employees, they are following the safety measures, and are planning to open their offices as soon as they can. All of our Chinese employees are however already available per e-mail and phone, in order to minimise the impact on the logistics and business of our customers.
We would take this opportunity to remind you of our faster freight alternatives from China; rail- and air freight.
Delays are to be expected
On Tuesday 28th of January, the National Immigration Administration suspended the issuance of travel permits to Hong Kong and Macao for tourists from the Chinese mainland.
Several air services to Europe, US, Korea and Japan are temporarily closed down in first week of February, announced by the airlines.
Early this last week Chinese Government announced to extend the Chinese New Year Holiday till February 3rd, and in Shanghai area it has been extended to February 10th. Mid-week this last closure date was decided to extend further by most of Provincial Governmental Offices, with a purpose to delay the massive travel to curb virus.
These restrictions will affect loading and transportation of goods within China, and import/export to and from China. Delays are to be expected.
We will continue to monitor the situation and will keep you informed as we receive additional information.
Following this new official announcement, ColliCare Shanghai, Xiamen and Shenzhen will not open before/be closed until February 10th, 2020. However, all our Chinese employees will be available from February 3, via both phones and emails.