We are beginning to see some semblance of normality restored as many industries come back online, ramping up production to meet re-invigorated demand. Many industries have remained busy, some overperforming to target during lockdown whilst others have had to dig deep to survive.
I am sure there will be endless hours of debate around the handling of the situation and the lasting challenges that it has created.
Speaking during an exec team meeting, AFS Global Director Steve Holland re-iterated the message that the “earlier our customers can liaise with their shippers to place their bookings, the more we can review current carrier performance and advise on the best option for each shipment.”
During the COVID pandemic, all three global carrier alliances withdrew or cancelled up to 40% of their East/West capacity. Since the easing of the restrictions began, capacity has increased and the lines are tentatively re-introducing vessels and loops back in the market.
As UK end European demand rebounds, it seems there is a hesitancy to return to full-service operations in case of a drop in demand or, even worse, a second lockdown.
Whilst we have received some assurances from the lines that the current situation will ease later in Q3, it’s important to remain vigilant.
Return to work
From an AFS Global perspective, a number of the team have returned to the office, under strict H&S guidelines and we’re hoping to welcome back the rest of our colleagues in the not too distant future.
All team members remain operational whether working remotely or back in the office so please drop us a line if you want to catch up or discuss anything freight related.
As we enter the third quarter it will be interesting to see how the changing global demand influences shipping lines’ decision making. Recently we have seen a huge spike in demand across the global networks as importers gear up to replenish stock levels and satisfy delayed orders. This will no doubt increase the pressure on shipping lines to load cargo and for importers to expect potential delays.
During the peak of the COVID pandemic, air freight rates have been astronomical due to natural supply and demand forces. Global capacity was greatly reduced with many passenger flights grounded. Having started to slowly normalise in the past few weeks, now is the time to get in touch with any enquiries for air shipments.