General information on COVID-19 and its effects on logistics
As the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) continues to spread, the impact on global supply chains is increasing dramatically.
The situation continues to change rapidly. In order to keep you up to date at all times on the effects of the coronavirus on logistics processes for all modes of transport, Geis has set up this webpage, which contains all the relevant information and is constantly updated.
Our activities at the individual locations in Europe are still running normally, although in some cases they are clearly tense. However, we are closely monitoring the evolving situation of COVID-19.
Thank you for your understanding and support during this time.
Management of the Geis Group
Actions taken worldwide
The spread of the corona virus raises the question of the effects on global logistics processes and world trade. We want to provide answers to some of the most pressing and common questions. Please note that the information given here can change.
How well is the Geis Group prepared to deal with the corona virus?
We have agreed preventive health protection measures with all employees at all company locations in order to reduce our individual infection risk in the company. These measures are based on the current recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute and the German Ministry of Health.
- Equipping all offices with disinfectants and necessary hygiene products at the workplaces
- Information on correct hygiene and protective measures
- Introduction of global travel restrictions from week 12 for all Geis employees who are required to use telephone and video conference tools
- As of calendar week 12, employees can only work in their own branch and can no longer visit customers
- Introduction of flexible working arrangements
The business activities at the individual Geis locations are secured by the business continuity plans' emergency concepts and are now being implemented accordingly. We have developed a pension plan that contains behavioral guidelines and measures that primarily support the health protection of our employees in the best possible way. It contains clear rules on how certain scenarios, such as the absence of large parts of the staff, can be compensated for. With these measures we want to guarantee the full functionality of all Geis companies and offer our customers the usual service quality. This includes the following points, which are adjusted to the current situation and the extent of the pandemic:
Initiation and implementation of a central corona pandemic team from the areas of Road Services, Logistics Services and Air + Sea Services, which regularly advises and informs management about the current situation
- Close exchange with the authorities, partners and subcontractors to take the necessary steps quickly if the situation worsens
Will my cargo be contaminated with Codvid-19 viruses?
COVID-19 spreads through direct and unprotected contact with an infected person. No cases of transfer of cargo to humans have been reported. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said: "There is currently no confirmation of the transfer of COVID-19 related to imported goods."
The World Health Organization (WHO) notes: “The likelihood that an infected person will contaminate commercial goods is low. The risk of the virus that causes COVID-19 being caught in a package that has been moved, traveled and subjected to different conditions is low and the temperature is also low.”
Are there any restrictions on the import of goods from China? Is there an import ban on goods from China?
Since an infection via imported goods is considered to be very unlikely, no special formalities due to the corona virus are planned when importing goods from China. There is no general import ban.
Are agencies closed due to pandemic measures? Is customs clearance still guaranteed?
There are concepts in the local authorities to maintain customs clearance, so that even in the event of failure scenarios at individual locations, a clearance option is generally guaranteed. There are concepts in the local authorities to maintain customs clearance, so that even in the event of failure scenarios at individual locations, a clearance option is generally guaranteed. General search for offices In addition, the responsible chambers of industry and commerce are informed by the main customs offices, which in turn direct the relevant information to their member companies.
Has my consignment been returned from China due to the Corona virus or has it not yet been released?
There are currently no special formalities in the handling of goods from China due to the corona virus. A return or a delayed release may have occurred due to a lack of customs formalities or bans and restrictions. To determine the exact reason, please contact your usual contact at Geis Air + Sea GmbH.
As of April 2, 2020 – 12 a.m.
In a video conference yesterday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her opposition to the obligation to wear masks for citizens. She also warned that wearing a mask could tempt people to fall below the prescribed minimum distance of 1.5 metres. Apart from the doubts about the medical benefits, the prime ministers and the federal government, who are all involved in the procurement of protective clothing for medical personnel, fear that there will be even more bottlenecks in the event of a mask requirement.
It was also decided that the existing measures would be extended until 19 April over the Easter holidays. With regard to the Easter holidays, it was clearly communicated that citizens "remain encouraged to reduce contacts with other people outside the members of their own home in accordance with the applicable rules to an absolute minimum even during the Easter holidays".
As of March 26, 2020 – 15:00 p.m.
Federal Minister of Transport Scheuer describes the employees in the logistics company as "heroes of everyday life". He is therefore pleased to announce a "freight transport pact" today. This is intended to ensure the stability of supply. It includes: A relaxation of driving and rest periods, a temporary lifting of the Sunday driving ban, special lanes for truck drivers and better supply at rest stops.
The aim is to keep the movement of goods stable - and above all across borders and modes of transport. In addition, there are further relaxations, especially greater goodwill in TÜV inspections
As of March 23, 2020 – 9:00 p.m.
German government tighten exit restrictions
Several German states are stepping up their measures on Friday to combat the further spread of the coronavirus. Rhineland-Palatinate, Baden-Württemberg and Hesse also ban meetings of small groups.
Bavaria goes further and imposes a curfew, which only allows people to leave their own homes if there are valid reasons.
On Sunday, March 22, 2020, the federal and state governments also adopted new measures for Germany as a whole to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. The rules initially apply for two weeks: more than two people are not allowed to stay outside together.
The actions adopted nationwide
- Citizens are encouraged to reduce social contacts as much as possible
- Minimum distance in public spaces of at least 1.50 meters
- Stay in public space is only permitted alone or with another person or in the circle of the relatives of the own household
- The way to work, emergency care, participation in required appointments, individual sport and exercise in the fresh air remain possible
- Groups of celebrating people - including in private - are unacceptable
- Catering establishments are closed, only food and beverages are allowed
- Service companies in the field of personal care are closed - exceptions apply only to medically necessary services
- It is important in all establishments to comply with hygiene regulations and to implement effective protective measures
- The measures should be valid for at least two weeks
As of March 18, 2020 - 12:00 p.m.
The EU decides on entry restrictions for citizens of most non-EU countries, valid for 30 days from March 17th, 2020. Each country is responsible for implementing the closure of the EU's external borders.
As of March 17, 2020 - 12:00 p.m.
The evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic has prompted many European governments to take measures to limit the flow of people as much as possible. The borders within the Schengen area and between the European Union and the rest of the world are partially or completely closed. And that for a period of 30 days from Tuesday, March 17th at 12 noon.
The flow of goods in most countries is free from these restrictions in order not to interrupt the supply chains. The transport of goods therefore remains permitted.
However, certain agreements and specific measures by the federal states have a direct impact on freight capacities, tariffs, the speed of processing and delivery times.
As of February 26th, 2020 - 12:00 p.m.
The global spread of the corona virus affects us all equally today. We would like to give you a summary of the preventive measures we have introduced to counter the risk of the virus spreading further.
As a logistics service provider operating across Europe, we have set up a task force to continuously assess the situation and carry out daily risk analyzes. On this basis, we have instructed our employees to cancel all international business trips as well as national conferences and events as far as possible and to choose alternative communication methods if possible.
In special conference calls, our managers are personally informed about the restrictions and behavior in relation to the corona virus. In addition, our employees receive regular information, hygiene management has been intensified and our locations have been equipped with additional sanitary products.
We also give all employees whose work enables this to work from home. In addition have activated a notification management system: All employees who were in a risk area should contact the HR department immediately and be instructed to work in their home office for at least 14 days or report sick.
As of March 27, 2020 - 4 p.m.
- IDS delivers general cargo contactless: The general cargo cooperation IDS has been delivering shipmemts contactlessy since Wednesday (25 March). For this purpose, drivers put the goods down at the consignees previously usual place. Instead of a signature on the scanner, the consignee is asked to sign on the package or adress label. The driver sets the status "good put down" on the scanner and is asked by the scanner software to take a photo of the signed label and one of the put down shipment. Status and photos can then be viewed in the IDS Track & Trace. With this measure, which is initially limited until the end of April, IDS wants to protect consignees, drivers and handling staff alike - and ensure that the minimum distance of 1.5 m to other persons in public areas is maintained during delivery. In order to be able to follow this process, which was introduces at short notice, IDS has produced a short video, which you are welcome to watch on the IDS homepage.
- Due to extreme border controls and special government regulations, there are sometimes considerable restrictions on transport in Europe: In the latest information above you can find out about the current situation in each country. On the right side you will find all updates as a PDF download under "Measures of the EU countries".
- It is also important that you coordinate with your customer/recipient ehether they can accept the goods.
- Our special thanks go to our drivers in this difficult situation. They are our "heroes" in the CORONA crisis. Please help and support our drivers in their daily work. As a community we get through this difficult time.
As of March 23, 2020 - 16:00 p.m.
Here's more up-to-date information about the situation around the coronavirus:
- Deliveries of goods: Many consignees refuse to sign the proof of delivery for safety reasons or the risk of contagion. Such deliveries are documented by our drivers. We assume that by continuing to send your shipments, you expressly agree to this procedure.
- FIX appointment/express deliveries: Due to the current situation, these shipments may not always be delivered with the usual reliability. In the event of a delivery period being exceeded, we must agree with you an express disclaimer of liability for such transactions
- Once again the notice from all our German and European delivery depots: Please check with the consignees before sending your shipments the readiness for acceptance of goods, undeliverable shipments will be returned immediately for a fee
- France/Italy/Spain: Deliveries are no longer possible for all consignees. Before shipping, please clarify not only whether the customers are present, but also whether the shipments are currently expressly requested and accepted
- Extreme congestion at the borders in Europe has worsened further and there are even longer maturities, including in the area of LTL/FTL. Via our homepage, you can find out about the current state of play on a country-by-country basis
- Please understand that due to the current shortage of truck cargo space, we are no longer able to meet the LTL and FTL freight prices we offer. In the future, we may need to contact you for an adjustment of freight conditioning before taking over the transport
As of March 19, 2020 - 9:00 a.m.
The situation around the corona virus has worsened further. In order to protect our employees and customers, to ensure our performance, but also to meet our social responsibility, the following rules are implemented in addition to the existing emergency concept and pandemic plan:
- As a precaution, we develop concepts and alternatives for how we can react if our forwarding partners in Germany and Europe are closed
- Commercial work areas / departments are mixed or relocated to the home office to protect our employees and to ensure the forwarding processes
- Disinfection regulations for vehicles and equipment of infected employees, or of employees with suspected infection, were created
- working and living distances have been increased and canteen use has been restricted
All transport services in Europe are currently still possible. However, these are done with restrictions and taking the following points into account:
- The number of shipments that cannot be accepted due to closings or quarantine are increasing daily. In order to relieve our transshipment warehouses, we must immediately send such deliveries back to you at a charge. Therefore, please make sure to clarify your customer's willingness to accept goods in advance! This applies to all shipments in Germany and Europe
- Due to the closure of production sites by automobile manufacturers and their suppliers, the volume of transport in Germany and Europe will decrease significantly. It will probably mean that we will no longer be able to implement all general cargo scheduled services according to our departure schedule
- As of March 23, 2020, the standard delivery time for general cargo in Germany will be extended from 24 to 48 hours. Express services will also run for 24 to 48 hours. We will continue to treat your express deliveries as a priority and find solutions
- Register your LTL / FTL deliveries as early as possible. As truck drivers fail and vehicles are shut down, it is currently becoming increasingly difficult to provide the necessary transport capacities
- Due to extreme congestion at the borders in Europe, there are even longer transit times in the LTL / FTL area. You can use the link to find out about the current status by country: Current situation Corona
- As a precaution, we develop concepts and alternatives for how we can react if our forwarding partners in Germany and Europe are closed
As of March 16, 2020 - 12:00 p.m.
As you could already see from the media, the situation around the corona virus is getting worse. The Geis Group and our network partners are in daily contact with the authorities with a task force. We try to reduce the risk for our employees and customers in the best possible way so that we can continue to ensure our performance.
For you as a customer and us as a freight forwarder, this means:
- The delivery times of your shipments are sometimes considerably longer. This currently affects exports and imports to and from all European countries
- However, goods can still be transported across borders to all countries
- Please clarify with the consignee of the goods in Germany and Europe, whether a delivery is guaranteed
- If your shipment cannot be delivered, the delivery must be returned. This is the only way we can ensure that our forwarding agents and those of our partners can continue to work
- Our drivers currently do not carry gloves and protective masks. If this is desired, it must be made available by the sender or consignee
As of March 16, 2020 - 10:00 a.m.
As the virus continues to spread across Europe, there are initial effects on certain logistics processes. Although all of our European locations and offices are still operating, we are experiencing delays in delivery due to increased health protection measures at various borders, particularly between Italy and its neighboring countries and the borders to Croatia.
Given the US travel ban on 26 European countries, which came into force on March 13, and the situation in several European countries, we are reviewing the respective consequences. We keep you up to date on the developments on this page.
As of March 11, 2020 - 1:00 p.m.
On this occasion, we would like to inform you about the effects of the corona virus on Geis and IDS transport logistics.
The most important message for you first: Our forwarding partners in Germany and Europe (also in Italy) can continue to process your forwarding consignments in known quality.
Due to additional checks at the consignees and sometimes also from the authorities, longer consignments may be required for individual consignments.
Geis and IDS: Coronavirus actions
- Geis, IDS and our international shipping partners have developed concepts and pandemic plans in order to be able to react to further developments at short notice. We keep an eye on the news every day and react promptly to changes
- In addition, we actively involve drivers, service providers and employees in preventive measures
- In addition to communicating about hygiene measures, we conduct surveys in the form of self-reports to determine whether people have been in risky countries or areas in recent weeks, for example
These measures help to keep the risk of infection to a minimum and ensure the continuation of our business activities.
We will inform you immediately about changes in the current situation.
As of March 8, 2020 - 12:00 p.m.
The Italian prime minister published a new decree on March 8 restricting access to much of the north of the country. The decree provides for measures to curb and control the spread of Covid-19.
From March 9th and April 3rd, the zones identified as "red" will be quarantined. Entering and leaving these zones is restricted. The red zone includes the following regions and areas of certain provinces:
- Lombardy (the whole region)
- Piedmont (Alessandria, Asti, Novara, Vercelli, Verbano Cusio Ossola)
- Veneto (Venice, Padua, Treviso)
- Emilia-Romagna (Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia, Rimini)
- Marche (Pesaro Urbino)
With regard to the decree of March 8, 2020, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has clarified that goods can be imported and exported to the affected areas. The transportation of goods is seen as a job that cannot be postponed. The driving personnel who steer the means of transport, such as trucks, can therefore drive in and out of the affected areas and move within them, provided this is necessary for the delivery and collection of goods.
Status as of 04/03/2020 - 3 p.m.
Airlines have introduced more passenger cargo flights this week to support the global supply in the air freight market. However, COVID-19 has led to a significant change in supply, as about 75% of the world's capacity is now made up of cargo aircraft and only 25% of Belly's capacity remains on the market on international passenger flights. Dependence on freighters has steadily increased in recent weeks, resulting in continued high pressure on air freight rates.
Global air freight volumes shrank 23 percent in March compared to the same month last year. According to data from the Dutch analysis house Clive Data Services, negative development accelerated extremely, especially in the second half of the month.
While the decline in volume in the first week of the month (March 2 to 8) was still relatively moderate, at minus 4 percent year-on-year, the negative trend in the following three weeks was in an extreme downward trend. In the second week of March (9 to 15 March), volumes fell by 11 percent compared to the same week of the previous year; in the third week (March 16-22) by 27 percent and in the fourth week (March 23 to 29) by 48 percent.
As an exception to the rule, the volume development on the route from Hong Kong to Europe is currently present. On this destination, air freight volumes grew by 26 percent compared to the period before the Chinese New Year. (DVZ)
Container shipping is still benefiting from China's economic recovery following the demise of Covid-19. The country, which was hit hard by lung disease between the end of January and the beginning of March, continues to drive up the industry. This ensures an increase in the volume of cargo transported by ship.
This development is supported by the export of goods ordered by customers before the Covid-19 outbreak in China. The volumes of exported goods are currently growing, especially on the Trans-Pacific Route.
Experts, however, see this development as nearing its end. Industrial production in China is running high again, but now demand for Chinese goods is coming under increasing as the pandemic progresses in Europe and the US.
Extensive country closures, such as those in India (for the next three weeks), have further restricted services, as ports and operations are severely affected. So far, according to our findings, more than 100 departures have been announced as cancelled worldwide. Further changes to the timetable will follow if the capacity utilization of the vessels is not satisfactory.
According to consultancy Maritime Strategies International (MSI), the loss of revenue in the second half of the year could even outweigh the slumps during the financial crisis.MSI forecasts a 17.8 percent decline in volumes for the westbound Asia-Europe for the period between March and May compared to the same period last year; on the trans-Pacific route towards the west coast of the United States, the decline will be 15 percent and the east coast at 13 percent. According to the MSI, on the routes between Asia via the Middle East and India, the volume will fall by 12 percent, 10 percent between Asia and Latin America and the westbound transatlantic routes. According to MSI, the decline will be 8 percent within Europe and 5 percent within Asia. (DVZ)
Status as of 04/02/2020 - 3 p.m.
In principle, organizations of welfare care and civil protection are authorized to import medical equipment and materials as relief supplies without any tax. As a result of the Corona pandemic, derogations have been made to the circle of importers and beneficiary institutions.
Customs has now pointed out on its website that a preferential allocation of an EORI number for auxiliary transports is possible. Economic operators who do not have an EORI number but urgently need it in the context of the Corona crisis for the handling of consignments (such as for the dispatch of auxiliary goods, protective suits, masks, gloves, medical products) may send the application for an EORI number to the following e-mail address: Notfall-EORI.email@example.com
The application is made by means of form version 0870. In order to allow your EORI application to be processed as an "emergency request" in a preferred manner, please add additional proof (e.g. contract documents, invoices, etc.) that proves that this is a much-needed shipment of goods.
Status as of 03/31/2020 - 3 p.m.
Despite the Corona crisis, German airports remain open to important flights. The aim is to maintain the critical infrastructure, Ralph Beisel, the chief executive of the airport association ADV, told the German Press Agency on Monday. The priority was the ongoing return flights for holidaymakers as well as the maintenance of logistics chains. On Monday, the decision on a possible closure of the capital airport Berlin-Tegel had been postponed.
At German airports with larger cargo handling such as Leipzig, Cologne, Hanover, Hahn, Frankfurt and Munich, demand for cargo flights is increasing, but cannot completely replace the cancelled passenger flights (dpa).
Traffic at Frankfurt Airport is decreasing due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is particularly true of the passage. On the other hand, the volume of freight was relatively stable on a weekly basis, with just over 33 000 tonnes (previous week: 36 591) tonnes. However, this also represents a fall of just over a quarter year-on-year. There is high demand for additional capacity. The handling of cargo aircraft is therefore not affected by the crisis measures. Fraport has temporarily decommissioned parts of the facilities in Terminals 1 and 2 and sent a large part of its employees into short-time work.(Verkehrsrundschau).
Status: 03/31/2020 - 12 a.m.
Freight forwarders are no longer able to deliver some of the containers from the port of Hamburg because some recipients have temporarily closed their operations. Some of the containers were jammed on the terminals after many ships entered the port of Hamburg late due to the winter storms. The problem here is the recipients of the goods, some of which do not take the containers. Business is expected to slow down in the coming weeks as fewer containers from China will reach the port of Hamburg.
The shipping companies of the association The Alliance (Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Ocean Network Express and Yang Ming) are responding to the weak demand for transport as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic with the cancellation of several departures in April. Weeks 15 to 18 and the Asia-Northern Europe, Asia-Mediterranean, Trans-Pacific-US-West Coast, Trans-Pacific-US-East Coast and Transatlantic Traffic are affected. In addition to the suspended departures, Alliance members are preparing further structural adjustments to market conditions.
Ocean Insights is closely monitoring the growing list of blank sailings of the top 3 alliances - 2M Alliance, THE Alliance & OCEAN Alliance - on the trans-Pacific, transatlantic and East-West trade routes. The current list of Blank Sailings can be found here.
Status as of 03/29/2020 - 12 a.m.
China has decided to temporarily suspend entry to China by foreigners with valid visas or residence permits due to the rapid global spread of COVID-19, following an announcement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Immigration Department on 03/26/2020. The suspension - starting on Saturday, March 28 - is a temporary measure that China must take in light of the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) and the practices of other countries. (Sources: the Foreign Ministry, the National Immigration Administration).
The Chinese authorities have pushed for strict measures to prevent the return of a domestic outbreak while controlling the importation of new cases of coronaviruses. The central government has called on local governments to carry out their role in preventing cases.
In order to ensure unhindered freight transport, measures must be taken for drivers of road haulage vehicles to control and prevent COVID-19. Foreign cargo vehicles entering the border should be unloaded at the port.
Status: 03/26/2020 - 12:00 a.m.
Great Britain, India, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Russia and most recently South Africa- the list of countries that partially or generally curfew is getting longer and longer. The common tenor of the governments is that production and logistics should be maintained.
In order to ensure the safety of the population and to put a stop to the COVID-19 outbreak the South African Government has implemented a 21-day lockdown effective 24hrs 26th March 2020 until 16th April 2020.
As per the latest advisory from Transnet Port Terminals (TPT), Terminals in Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town will continue to operate during the lockdown, however on a reduced capacity basis. East London terminal will not handle containers during this period. The vessel operations team are operating 24 hours.
The depots will be open during this period and will operate with a skeleton staff compliment and are enforcing strict hygiene and social distancing measures.
The majority of provinces in China continue to resume work with factories working to ramp up production levels. In terms of trade, we see that many ports in China have returned to normal operations, and that scheduled sailings and bookings ex-China are gradually increasing.
Local authorities require enterprises to implement precautionary measurements. In several big cities and provinces, the government is actively working on solutions for enterprises to reinstate business.
Terminal operations are all back to normal. Reefer yard density issue relieved in Tianjin and the situation has improved in Shanghai and Ningbo. The yard to accommodate dangerous goods in Nanjing terminal has improved as well. All dangerous cargo acceptances in Nanjing port are subjected to case by case review. All ocean terminal depots and off-dock depots are operating as normal.
In this week, more airlines have announced for cancellation of passenger flights which drastically reduced capacity in the market. In the export side, demand for commercial cargo goes down (cancel of purchase orders or change to ocean) but increase in demand for medical equipment (mask etc).
So far, the railway service between Europe and China are still fully operational. We are currently not experiencing any rail freight restrictions. Geis Air + Sea can still offer regular Intercontinental Rail service, which covers multiple departures per week out of various rail gateways, such as Zhengzhou, Xi'an, Wuhan, Xiamen, Chengdu, Chongqing, Nanjing and Suzhou.
Status: 03/25/2020 - 12:00 a.m.
India yesterday ordered a three-week lockdown for 1.3 billion people, so an entire subcontinent remains at home: The lock is valid for 21 days until April 14, 2020. The Prime Minister published that the nationwide ban will be like a curfew. Only government services that include law enforcement, local government, essential goods delivery, commercial and emergency services, limited banking and media reporting are allowed to function during this ban, while everything else is prohibited without exception.
Terminals, customs, transportation, road and rail authorities are expected to release their notifications regarding the blockage soon. All of these operations are expected to cease operations for the next 3 weeks.
Status: 03/23/2020 - 08:00 a.m.
In the current situation, the number of spot requests around the globe is increasing dramatically. Due to the increasing demand due to cancelled carrier contracts and reduced freight capacities, all requests have to be negotiated individually. This takes more time than usual. We therefore ask everyone to be patient if they do not immediately receive a response from our quotation teams.
Status: 03/20/2020 - 08:00 a.m.
Sea freight in general
Due to the critical situation, shipping companies are introducing cancellation fees for no-show bookings of around $ 100-200 per container.
Some carriers have announced Emergency Equipment Surcharges for areas where equipment shortages are particularly acute, such as in the Nordic and Baltic countries as well as the inland depots. There is a serious lack of equipment for dry and refrigerated containers. The current situation is expected to ease in six weeks at the earliest. The situation around the Blank Sailings should relax at the earliest from mid-April 2020. There are currently additional delays due to bad weather and storms.
The lead time for bookings is currently around 6 to 8 weeks.
Airfreight in general
The airlines update their emergency flight plans with increasing cancellations. More information can be found here:
Status: 03/19/2020 - 08:00 a.m.
The effects of COVID-19 (coronavirus) have spread rapidly beyond China in the past few weeks. The greatest current effects concern the availability of space and containers. Border closings to / from European destinations continue to be announced.
Airfreight in general
New travel restrictions announced in the United States for flights from Europe will include the United Kingdom and Ireland as of March 17. This will have a significant impact on capacity as 65% of cargo capacity from mainland Europe and the UK is carried in the belly of passenger aircraft. Air freight currently accounts for 51% of total transatlantic trade value.
For example, there is a sharp rise in rates in the United States, which was triggered by new entry restrictions in the United States. Furthermore, charter rates have increased by up to 50% in the last 36 hours.
We can currently expect capacity bottlenecks and significant increases in spot prices.
However, space is available in Europe / the USA, with certain restrictions such as premium rates and without term commitments.
Sea freight in general
As already informed in February, many ships are fully booked until the end / middle of April (the Middle East and the Far East are severely affected). As a result of this ongoing situation, the level of empty containers in Germany and in the ports is becoming increasingly scarce.
Carriers now receive massive surcharges and rate increases for various destinations (especially the Middle and Far East). This is still a result of several blank sailings in February after the Chinese New Year. This now leads to a shortage of space and equipment and one has to assume that this situation will continue for the next few weeks. This external inequality forces us to act with foresight and for this reason we recommend registering shipments as early as possible in order to secure space and equipment on the ships at an early stage.
The Air + Sea Services division will continue to try to offer you the best possible solution as usual. Unfortunately, we should at the same time point out that we have no other option than to go with the prices of the carriers and therefore ask for your understanding.
Please contact your usual Geis Air + Sea contact person to find individual solutions.
All pre-agreed or existing contracts are suspended during reduced operations
- New price structures are created that reflect the current economic reality
- All existing bookings inbound / outbound USA are canceled and reassessed and reassigned based on a realistic level of capacity
- Bookings for dangerous goods, personal items, human remains, living animals or valuable / high-quality freight are no longer accepted
As of: 03/17/2020 - 12:00 p.m.
Work across China has largely resumed. Production is estimated at 60-70% of normal. The quarantine times end so that the workforce can return. Quarantine and restrictions remain for anyone returning from Hubei Province. Production increased in most provinces in the last week of February. Large manufacturing clusters still only make up 50-60% of the production capacity. Full production is expected at the end of March at the earliest.
Elimination of route connections
The continued suspension of passenger flights and the reduced availability of cargo space have had a negative impact on the offer available on the market.
Passenger flights have declined sharply in South Korea. Entry restrictions for travelers from South Korea have been introduced in more than 100 countries. The freighters continue to operate, with the focus on aid delivery, and we find that the total capacity is limited. Capacity pressure due to limited passenger flight activities can also be observed in Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines and Italy.
The resumption of production in China has led to increased demand for means of transportation and increased capacity pressure.
In close cooperation with our long-standing airline partners, our air freight experts receive regular freight space allocations on important Asian routes.
Our air cargo teams are well informed about the latest developments. We recommend that you contact your respective Geis Air + Sea contact for further questions and specific requirements regarding your airfreight shipments.
In ocean freight, blank sailings are likely to be suspended from April 1, so that the situation eases again. However, the availability of equipment remains problematic.
Thanks to the improved first and last mile service, more rail connections to and from Europe have been resumed. Zhengzhou, as an important operator, offers its 8 departures a week almost completely as before the Chinese New Year. Wuhan Terminal and Service remain closed until further notice.
Compared to sea and air freight, the costs for rail transport are currently more stable, while space is becoming increasingly scarce in March. In the first two weeks of March, almost all trains heading west are fully booked, while those heading east remain relatively stable.
Geis Air + Sea offers its customers block train solutions to the east and west between Europe and China. When it comes to unusual shipping inquiries or critical logistics, our "time critical logistics" or "Project Logistics" product will ensure the continuation of production processes even in the most complex and demanding situations. Read more in this PDF and talk to us for individual solutions.
USA travel ban
The travel restriction between 26 countries in Europe and the USA (valid since March 13, 2020, 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time US) has no significant impact on transatlantic freight traffic, as it does not apply to freight. However, since the commercial route between Europe and North America is largely dominated by passenger aircraft, there may be a sharp decline in available air cargo capacity. Sea freight transports are currently not affected.
Status: 03/16/2020 - 12:00 a.m.
Sea freight in general
While terminal and depot operations in China are gradually returning to normal, the terminals are still reporting high to full yard density and congestion. The availability of cooling plugs at the terminals is still very limited. The ports are gradually building up their cargo backlog. Since the demand for sea freight shipments from China is still declining, shipping companies continue to announce empty trips, which are expected to continue until the end of March.
As the port of Genoa has been closed and empty voyages continue, we also expect to see an impact on the ocean freight business in Europe. The lack of services from Asia has resulted in equipment imbalance. For example, the high demand for exports from Europe cannot currently be met with the supply of empty containers. Although Italy is the most coronavirus-affected country in Europe, Italy continues to do business. We are closely monitoring the development of the situation and will continuously update this page for you.
Airfreight in gerneral
The travel restriction between 26 countries in Europe and the USA, in force since March 13, 2020, does not initially have a significant impact on transatlantic freight traffic because it does not apply to freight. However, since the commercial route between Europe and North America is largely dominated by passenger aircraft, there may be a sharp decline in available air cargo capacity. We work closely with our long-term carrier partners and agents on site to ensure complete transparency of the situation and to meet the needs and requirements of our customers. The overall situation regarding the operating status of airports, truckers and customs clearance in China is stabilizing. Only Wuhan Airport remains closed to commercial traffic. Since production is almost back to normal, we see a significant increase in volumes.
Status: 03/13/2020 - 12:00 a.m.
The outbreak and in particular the intensity of the corona virus in Europe prompted Geis Air + Sea GmbH to take precautions to ensure the operational handling of all air and sea freight shipments as well as international rail traffic.
We have developed a pension plan that contains behavioral guidelines and measures that primarily support the health protection of our employees in the best possible way. We have agreed preventive health protection measures with all employees at all company locations in order to reduce our individual infection risk in the company. These measures are based on the current recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute and the German Ministry of Health.
In addition, the prevention plan includes measures in all operating units that aim to maintain business operations at all eight branches of Geis Air + Sea GmbH.
These measures include:
- Introduction of a split operation, in which the spatial division of the employees is carried out in related areas of responsibility
- Up to 50% of the employees in each department will work from home on week 12, in order to be able to use a complete quarantine on site in an emergency
- Setting up remote access to all IT applications from the home office
- Equipping employees with laptops or PCs as well as telephone headsets in the home office
Otherwise, the following precautions apply:
- Business trips and customer visits will be discontinued from calendar week 12
- Meetings with more than 10 people are postponed to conference calls
- From week 12 employees are only allowed to work in their own branch
We are in close contact with all airlines, shipping companies, rail terminals and handling partners, as well as customs, to inform us about their preventive measures, to recognize effects on our services at an early stage and to initiate appropriate countermeasures. Our primary goal is to deal prudently with the current situation, but at the same time to be prepared for emergencies and to keep the consequences and effects for our customers and our employees as low as possible.
If - contrary to our current expectations - an unrestricted continuation of our business is not possible (for example due to official orders or increased illnesses of the staff), we will reduce the number of employees per branch in consultation with our customers and partners or alternatively when a branch is closed map the operational processing from another location.
If necessary, we will contact you directly. As a precaution, we would like to point out that the spread of COVID-19 is to be regarded as an inevitable event (force majeure) and Geis Air + Sea GmbH must therefore decline liability for possible consequences (e.g. for the non-provision of services).
Thank you for your understanding and your active support.
Download this update: Update from 03/13/2020 – 12pm
Status: 03/04/2020 - 12:00 a.m.
The outbreak of the corona virus affects the entire global economy and severely limits the operation of industrial, commercial and transport companies.
The Chinese government has mandated travel bans and quarantine zones that restrict work. In addition, employees were sent back late from the Chinese New Year vacation.
The ports of Shanghai, Tianjin and Ningbo remain congested. The lack of staff is followed by the lack of space: many ports have hardly any space left for the containers that are waiting to be processed and forwarded. And so the containers jam in the ports.
As a result of this situation, the circumstances in the ports are to be assessed as critical. The performance of the port / terminal operation can only have a value of 30-50% of its standard volume. Equipment capacities are increasingly limited because container shipments are carried out very sporadically. Furthermore, due to a lack of free storage capacity in the ports, containers can no longer be delivered, so that congestion charges are incurred at the expense of the goods and / or containers are diverted. This affects the reefer segment in particular, since the corresponding parking spaces with available plugs (power connections) are no longer available.
The situation described in China continues to influence global supply chains. As a result of China's stagnating foreign trade, a reduction in the volume of transport worldwide can be expected. This is also reflected in the shortage of empty equipment for exporting countries. In this context, additional logistics costs for the provision of empty equipment will follow.
Since the outbreak of the corona virus, shipping companies have canceled more than 30 trips from Asia to Europe, accounting for 46 percent of the total capacity on the route. In addition, the shipping companies have responded to the Chinese New Year with 26 blank sailings from week 9 and 10/2020. Due to the tense situation caused by the corona virus, these were expanded to 47 blank sailings.
As a result, there is a shortage of shipping space in the Eastbound Trade, which has already prompted some liner shipping companies to introduce a Peak Season Surcharge (PSS) from B / L date 03/01/2020.
The peak season surcharge is:
Yang Ming Line
It cannot be ruled out that the other operators will also collect this PSS in the next few weeks.
In addition, many airlines have completely canceled their flights to China or only offer reduced capacities with freighters / charters. This artificial shortage currently leads to a four-fold increase in air freight charges.
The duration and extent of the flight cancellations could currently not be reliably predicted. It is a fact that airport operators, warehouse service providers and other subcontractors have already reduced personnel capacities as a result of the slump in China.
From week 10 onwards, more than 90% of the companies resume their work in China. However, some factories only produce 50-60%. The reason for this is the still prevailing labor shortage. Urgent shipments are increasingly being switched from sea to air. Due to the shortage of capacity, prices are expected to rise again significantly.
These circumstances also affect rail traffic to and from China. Capacity bottlenecks can also occur here. We therefore ask you to inquire and book your shipment in good time.
A volume transport forecast and early booking are essential in this tense situation in order to ensure the smoothest possible transport and supply chains.
Thank you for your understanding and your active support.
Download this update: Update from 03/04/2020 – 12pm
As of March 18, 2020 - 12:00 p.m.
All Geis contract logistics locations are currently working in accordance with the pandemic plans, the emergency plans and the hygiene guidelines of the Robert Koch Institute.
In logistics, each location has to be considered individually with its local conditions and measures. Our customer advisors and site managers are in close contact with our customers in order to be able to react to changes as quickly as possible.
Therefore, please direct your questions about corona virus to your local contract logistics manager, who will be happy to provide you with information.
Disclaimer: We have provided the information above with the greatest care. Third parties cannot derive any rights from the content of the information published here. Liability with regard to the content of this information is not transferable to the Geis Group.