The impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on public health and the economy is being felt in an increasing number of countries. Protecting the health and safety of our employees, customers and suppliers is and remains a top priority for HEC-Holland.
For situations like this, we use protocols and preventive measures in accordance with the guidelines prescribed by the health authorities in the Netherlands. Our aim is to continue to serve our customers and partners as well as possible and to ensure that activities for your organization can be optimally continued.
We are currently active in rotating shifts, both from home and office, in order to minimize risks. This setup enables us to continue to provide you with the best supply chain solutions for the delivery of all your goods.
Developments in air freight are currently following each other rapidly and are therefore continuously subject to change. Many airlines have decided to limit and/or discontinue passenger flight schedules indefinitely. Discontinuation of these timetables has major consequences for capacity and pricing. Full cargo flights are still permitted.
We see that passenger flights with only cargo on board are becoming the new reality, which helps to compensate for lost capacity. The (Dutch) authorities have also decided to grant approval for the large number of canceled passenger flights (at Amsterdam Airport) to be given to freight companies virtually and without restrictions. This measure will certainly apply until June 6th of this year. This scheme should ensure that sufficient ad hoc capacity for cargo flights at the airport remains available.
While operations at terminals in China are gradually returning back to normal, terminals are still experiencing congestion as a result of past arrears. As demand for goods from China and other Asian countries is lagging, shipping companies are expected to keep dropping sailings until the end of March.
This also has consequences for shipping to and within (short sea) Europe. The canceled sailings from Asia have caused an imbalance in equipment, with a high demand for exports from Europe and a scarcity of imports (containers) from the Far East.
We will of course continue to monitor with our partners the situation closely and inform you immediately of any new developments.
We thank you for your cooperation and understanding in these difficult times.