Update corona virus and the consequences for the logistics sector

27 Mar 2020

We are trying to update you regularly on the developments surrounding the Corona (COVID-19) virus outbreak and the consequences for the logistics sector.

However, we realize that this news is subject to change and today’s news may be different tomorrow.

For now, we will share news and developments, which are currently important in our logistics sector.


The Indian government has closed the country because of the Corona crisis. The measure came into force on March 25th and will last for 21 days, though this period is likely to be extended.

In addition to India, a full lockdown has also been announced in several other countries, including Canada, South Africa and more than half of the United States. We expect more countries to follow suit.

We are currently investigating the consequences for the logistics sector and recommend that you check with your consignee first, whether or not they can receive goods.

Waiting times at EU borders

There is also a complete lockdown in a large number of European countries. European road transports can be delayed because of long waiting times at the border.

Import from China and blank sailings

The Corona measures in China are gradually being phased out and production has started again. Partly due to declining demand for certain articles, the expected rate increases have not materialized and the pressure on vessel capacity is not as great as anticipated. Most booked shipments are back on schedule and space is also reasonably available at the moment.

However, European consumer demand for goods has decreased to such an extent, that this will have consequences for sailings in the coming weeks. Carriers are responding to this immediately by already announcing blank sailings.

Sea freight exports

At present, for exports to almost all sailing areas, space and equipment are still scarce. This has resulted in an increase in the rates.

We expect this will change from the end of April. Production has decreased considerably, as a result of which exports will decline.

The blank sailings announced for import will also affect the number of sailings for export, in a few week’s time.


The lockdown in various countries will undoubtedly affect airfreight. At the moment it is difficult to estimate exactly what it will mean, also because the countries themselves are constantly changing the rules. Therefore, we recommend that you keep in close contact with our airfreight department if you want to schedule a shipment to one of the countries concerned.

For the time being, it is still possible to fly to and from most destinations.

Shipments to the USA now only go by cargo-carrier, at higher rates than before. Airfreight from China is currently booming, resulting in high rates.

Effect on rates

The current market conditions are creating sudden and unforeseen rate changes.
Our rate and service proposals are made, based on capacity conditions at the time of the inquiry.
All offers must be re-confirmed with Embassy Freight Services (UK) Limited at the time of booking to be valid.
Thank you for your understanding.

Although most of our employees are working from home and can be reached by e-mail and phone on a normal basis, our business is up and running.
Please let us know if there’s anything we can do to help you!