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Corona impact on European logistics, update March 19, 2020

The novel Coronavirus has heavily impacted daily life in Europe and the rest of the world. Keeping supply chains functioning, to make sure the supply to hospitals and supermarkets is guaranteed, is of the utmost importance. In the Netherlands, employees that are crucial to the functioning of supply chains and logistics operations can go to work as long as they are 100% fit. At the same time, government and businesses put strong focus on the continued operation of the logistics backbone. This article provides a brief update on the current situation (March 19) by combining various Dutch sources.

Main ports of entry remain open
The Port of Rotterdam announced in a statement that they are “trying to minimize the impact of Covid-19 on the operations of the port of Rotterdam and industrial facilities. […] There are also very regular discussions with public authorities, both local and national, with the aim of ensuring that the port continues to operate as well as possible in the current difficult conditions.”

“Amsterdam Airport Schiphol remains in operation and the entire air cargo chain is making efforts to fulfill the needs of the industries”, Air Cargo Netherlands reports. Imports from Asia are increasing significantly as factories in China are ramping up production. Dutch customs is “scaling down to protect employees but is dedicated to keep vital functions in operation and goods flowing”.

Road transport into and within EU continues
Most EU countries have announced border crossing restrictions for travellers. Truck traffic is excepted and moves freely across the borders in the Netherlands and Belgium. There are reports of long waiting times on the borders between Germany, France and Switzerland, as well as Eastern Europe, where Poland implemented thorough border checks. This interactive map shows real time border crossing times and can change quickly.

Ferries between the Netherlands and the UK are sailing according to schedule, Nieuwsblad Transport reports.

E-fulfilment centers scrambling to cope with demand
Logistiek.nl reports that E-fulfilment centers in the Netherlands are experiencing a 20-50% increase in activity as consumers are moving online for their needs. Third party fulfilment centers are seeing increases in sales of food supplements, computer screens, webcams, freezers, aside from the widely reported hike in hand sanitizers, toilet paper rolls and packed foods demands. The increase is not limited to basic needs though; home fitness, entertainment products and fashion items are all in high demand as people try to make the best of their lives at home.

The Holland International Distribution Council is ready to connect supply and demand for logistic services in Europe. Please contact us for further information.

March 19th 2020

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