Many European countries, due to the coronavirus pandemic, introduced strict quarantine and completely closed their borders, restricting the transportation of even transit goods through their country. Over time, almost all states removed such restrictions, but now a new wave is again observed, in connection with which the situation in the international cargo transportation remains unstable.
How has the pandemic affected the international freight market?
Reducing the number of orders for delivery of goods from Europe to Ukraine and vice versa - this is only part of the problem. At the same time, for drivers, the risks of contracting COVID-19 have increased, as well as being placed under observation. This made it much more difficult to find a driver. First of all, this affected small carriers and small logistics companies.
Due to the surge in cases in Ukraine, as well as in the USA, Brazil, India and most European countries, a decrease in the total volume of international cargo transportation is predicted, somewhere in the range of 30-40%. According to the statistics provided by the specialists of the cargo transportation company Grand Logistics Company, and compiled on the basis of an analysis of activities during the period of previous strict quarantine restrictions, depending on the type of cargo transportation, this indicator may vary slightly. In particular, the industry turned out to be the most sensitive to changes. air transportation, the demand for which has fallen significantly. In second place - delivery of goods by road. There were serious problems with transportation of goods by sea, - primarily from China. It is explained by the fact that large batches of products were blocked in the country. Another problem faced by the logistics industry is the shortage of returnable packaging (return containers).
The least quarantine restrictions affected rail freight, where there was a temporary decrease in the volume of goods transported, by about 4%. At the same time, conditions for freight trains improved, as passenger traffic was significantly reduced. Among the positive aspects, it should be noted the desire of logistics companies to minimize costs by optimizing processes, as well as more active use of contactless methods of processing accompanying and customs documentation in electronic form.
Pricing and working in high-risk environments
At the very beginning of the pandemic, domestic and international freight rates jumped slightly, but after a while they began to gradually decline. This is due to unstable and uneven demand. It is important to understand here that pricing for cargo delivery services must be reasonable and competitive. Otherwise, a sharp increase in tariffs during the crisis and quarantine restrictions can have a critical impact on some industries, but no one wants to carry to their own detriment either. Therefore, it is important to find the "golden mean".