As the impact of Covid-19 continues to grow, the entire landscape of the UK – of the global – economy is changing. A huge number of restrictions are in place. And it can be difficult to keep track of what is and isn’t allowed. But while many businesses are strongly feeling the affects of the virus, one sector that is still operational is supply chain. However, there remain many challenges to overcome.
Here’s what you need to know about sending freight overseas during the Covid-19 crisis.
Can I still I Still Ship Freight Overseas in the Light of Covid-19?
Freight networks have been placed in the UK’s “key worker” category. This means that, ‘Those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass,’ are able to continue working. But what does this mean in reality?
With the majority of passenger flights now halted, the capacity for air freight has been significantly reduced. So, although international air freight forwarding is still possible, connections are limited, and prices have been hiked. This isn’t so much profiteering, as covering essential costs. The knock-on affect for businesses is obvious.
At this time, most international ports remain open. With the world’s reliance on imported goods – from paracetamol to toilet paper – it is essential that they remain so. But there are challenges in this area too. With China out of action for more than a month, goods were not produced. And many cargo ships were held in limbo. Now, the majority of shipping lines are operational, but many are adding surcharges to their fees. And all are experiencing very high demand. Which means finding space for your imports/exports may become difficult if you do not plan ahead. Processing times are also increasing as customs authorities are struggling to meet the increased demand at a time of potentially reduced staffing due to the virus.
Despite experiencing the ongoing disruption relating to Covid-19 – reduced staffing, increased demand – road freight is probably the least affected area of supply chain at this stage. But that does not mean that it has gone untouched. Increased border control, sanitisation, lack of space on ferries and some route closures means that – some significant – delays to road freight are being experienced. And are totally unavoidable. But there has been a movement towards the creation of ‘green lanes’ for freight vehicles, which should help to remedy the situation.
At the moment, the main take home from all this is that freight is still moving. But it’s moving differently. And working to a different time frame. At Plexus Freight, we’re doing all we can to keep our fleet on the road and to get our goods from A to B as quickly, efficiently and safely as possible, without placing our drivers at risk. And we’d like to take this opportunity to thank our clients for their support and patience as we do our best to keep your businesses moving.
Contact us today if you would like to find out more about freight forwarding or international pallet delivery with Plexus Freight.