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European logistics continuity resources to get you through the pandemic

European logistics continuity resources to get you through the pandemic

Blog: Corona impact on European logistics, update April 22, 2020

In a time where countries are slowly but surely reopening their economies, shippers and logistics providers are trying to streamline supply chains in a ‘new normal’. Where logistics continuity was taken for granted in the pre-corona world, now constant monitoring of port status, asset availability and delivery options is crucial. This update provides tools to get you through the pandemic.

This is the sixth weekly Corona update of HIDC (previous five updates can be found here) on the continuity of European logistics.

National differences in measures and logistics continuity
Visibility of local risks is key and for this purpose U.S. based supply chain management company FourKites, with its European HQ in Amsterdam, has created a global map of real-time port congestion and border crossing times for truck traffic. This map shows that the Port of Rotterdam suffers no congestion and operations are uninterrupted after an exceptional 1st quarter that showed a 10% decrease in volume, but a sustained container tonnage. The port authority expects a further decrease in volume in Q2 and comments that “a 10 to 20% drop in throughput volume on an annual basis would seem to be very likely. This will depend on how long the measures remain in place and on how quickly production and world trade recover.” The Port of Rotterdam publishes a weekly update regarding the COVID crisis and the impact on this website.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol continues to post planned arrivals and departures of cargo aircraft on their dedicated website which shows a continuing increase of freight movements since the start of the crisis.

Containment measures are different in each European country and that means that for European cross-border transport, one has to know the current status of the country and which regulations to comply with. The European Shippers Association provides an overview for all modalities per country on its website.

Warehouses across Europe filling up
In last week’s update, we mentioned that the post-shut down production peak in China was bringing a lot of goods to Europe. As the economy has slowed down and COVID measures causing closures, delivery to retail and manufacturing in Europe has almost ceased. Lloyd’s Loading List is reporting that UK warehousing is two weeks from being full as a result. In the Netherlands, HIDC members that represent most of the 3PLs with a European network, have indicated that there is sufficient capacity to absorb this wave of goods thanks to a good amount of newly built distribution centers in recent years. Looking for space? Let us know and we will connect you.

Make sure you are flexible in fulfilment and last-mile options
Last week, DHL Parcel reported its busiest week in history due the growing e-com volumes. Parcel companies are coping with volumes that are higher than those around the holidays and Black Friday, which may result in longer delivery times than usual. Sendcloud reports record parcel volumes as well, with 90% more packages than normal for the Netherlands, a 70% increase in Germany and even 142% in Belgium. Despite uncertain lead times, e-commerce is currently the most efficient way to reach the European consumers, as brick-and-mortar retail sales slump. As a risk mitigation strategy, it’s good to have alternatives for fulfilment and last-mile. Retailers and brands are now actively looking at alternatives for FBA (fulfilled by Amazon), following the closure of Amazon fulfilment centers in France and a month-long ban on replenishment of non-essential items.

For an overview on country-specific consequences of the pandemic, Ecommerce Europe has created this Coronavirus E-commerce Info Center to inform its members, companies and consumers. HIDC is organizing a webinar on e-commerce opportunities in times of social distancing in May. Keep an eye on our social media channels for more information.

Professional help is out there
HIDC consists of 300 member companies, of which more than 50 are specialized 3rd party fulfilment providers and a solid alternative to FBA. Other members range from freight forwarders, 3PLs and parcel carriers to all types of professional services to the logistics industry, such as temporary workforce providers, legal providers, VAT/tax specialists, real estate providers and consultants.

We are ready to connect supply and demand for logistic services in Europe, free of charge and without any obligations. Please contact us for further information.

April 22nd 2020

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