plane ship vessel

Corona virus: consequences airfreight and ocean freight

plane ship vessel

16 Mar 2020

Limited airfreight capacity

Since yesterday evening, March 15th, passenger planes coming in from China, Hong Kong, Iran, South-Korea and Italy are no longer being allowed entry in to the Netherlands. This precautionary measure will be maintained until March 27th, when it will be re-assessed.  Also, from Friday, March 13th onwards, travel to the US will be banned for Europeans, for at least 30 days. President Trump is taking this measure in an effort to call a halt to the spread of the Corona virus in the US.

Passenger planes tend to carry cargo as well. Now that these flights are grounded, for the time being, air freight capacity to and from the USA will be greatly reduced. There will still be cargo only flights but in a limited number. This reduced capacity will also drive the prices up.

The European Commission has decided that the rule that states air lines need to complete at least 80% of their scheduled flights to retain the right to operate, is temporarily suspended. Some airlines were performing empty flights for this rule, and expectations are that will now stop.

This ruling too is expected to have a serious impact on the available capacity.

For more information, you can reach out to our air freight manager Bert Rietveld on +31 10 59 333 37, or via


At this time the only option for transport to and from Italy is transport by rail. This is only available for full container loads, at reduced capacity and with some delays.


Business in China has been mostly restored, but there is a great backlog which needs to be cleared up. Capacity is very low and this is putting great pressure on the rates.

Ocean Freight

As stated in previous news items, there is still a serious shortage of both spaces as well as equipment. Not just for Asian trade lanes, but worldwide.

We urge you again to plan your shipments as early as you can so that we can find you an appropriate solution.

Also, should your warehouse have special opening times or special instructions for pick-up and delivery of goods, please let us know, so we can arrange things with our hauliers to accommodate you.

Safeguarding of Embassy Freight service levels

In order to comply with the newly imposed government measures and because the health of our employees is foremost in our minds, we have taken the following measures;

  • Approximately half of our employees are working from home, from March 16th onwards
  • All employees can be reached via phone and email
  • We will maintain this until March 27th, subject to further assessment

With these measures, we expect we will be able to maintain our normal service levels.

Additional information

We aim to keep you well informed of the situation as it unfolds. For the most up to date information, we would like to refer you to our website and our Linkedin page.