We’re living in the middle of a pandemic that nobody fully anticipated. And, no matter what industry we’re working in, the impact of COVID-19 cannot be ignored. The freight forwarding industry is no such exception, spanning across areas from air travel to ocean crossings – all of which have seen a shift in their success during this time. So, how has COVID-19 already impacted our industry and what, if any, predictions can we make about the future?
It’s common knowledge now that coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China. It’s also common knowledge that a great number of products we use and purchase every single day are, as the branding states, ‘Made In China’. Over the expanse of industries, we have seen a significant decrease in demand for these products that once flooded our shelves. Largely due to the fear of infectious spread and a desire to focus on the safety of those around us, it has been reported that 62.5% of chief financial officers on the Global CFO Council have noted this decrease. Another report released noted that exports from mainland China saw the sharpest deterioration since surveys began over 16 years ago. There’s no denying that a drop in Chinese imports leads to a drop in demand for the freight companies that operate these services.
Air Freight Prices Soaring
While we may be inclined to believe that the price of flights would depreciate during a time where travel is banned worldwide, the opposite is in fact true. The vast majority of airfreight shipments are made in the cargo of normal passenger aeroplanes. With these having been grounded, demand for space in the sky has dramatically increased – particularly in flights coming out of mainland China. This is largely due to the demand for PPE equipment and medical supplies which are produced in bulk from their manufacturing plants. To combat this, airlines are increasing the use of freight flights by minimising ground time and postponing non-essential maintenance. They are bringing older aircraft back for work and turning to passenger planes to be used as cargo planes to meet the ever-increasing need.
Recognising The Importance Of Road Freight
With there being so much uncertainty surrounding international travel, being able to ship and transport cargo by road is continuing to become important. While supporting national businesses and utilising the resources we have in the country already, our drivers are taking to the road to make the most of quieter commutes, shorter journeys and the ability to get essential goods where they need to be.