Faced with global cargo capacity crunches in both air and ocean freight as a result of Covid-19, the U-Freight Group said its operations around the world are working ‘as normally as possible’ given the circumstances, as it seeks innovative solutions to overcome the challenges of managing supply chains hit by the virus.
The Hong Kong-based freight forwarder and logistics group said while capacity reductions are a reality, freighter and passenger airline capacity is adjusting to the new market reality.
On a positive note, U-Freight said its operations has “somewhat [been] encouraged” by the fact that China is likely to get close to full production by the end of March, and an increased number of freighter flights in the market are helping ease the outbound China capacity strain.
However it noted that demand for products made in China will be affected by events in countries that source from the People’s Republic.
U-Freight has a significant presence in the Chinese market, where it has five freight hubs.
Challenges to ocean freight
In ocean freight, freight forwarder said the biggest current impact is on space and container availability throughout the world, with shortages of containers and special equipment, with carriers imposing Peak Season Surcharges.
“Given the fact that the regional restrictions and freight capacity are out of our control, now is the time for the innovative thinking,” said Simon Wong, U-Freight Group CEO noting how all its global offices are acting in accordance with advice being provided by their respective local authorities.
Wong cited U-Freight's milestones including being the first freight forwarder to offer track and trace via the internet; one of first overseas foreign freight and logistics companies to gain an A-class operator’s licence in China; and being one of the first to spot the opportunities stemming from the e-commerce revolution.
“[We are] now a logistics partner of choice for the growing number of online channels and platforms which entrepreneurs are using to sell their own designs and products, including global eCommerce shipping platforms such as Easyship. We are also heavily involved in the Fulfillment by Amazon programme in several countries,” he added.
In anticipation of the various travel restrictions implemented worldwide, U-Freight noted that it was able to implement certain measures to avert the impact of such restrictions by launching charter service ahead of time to move goods.
“Just last week we saw an example of that innovation. When cargo capacity fell dramatically, we arranged immediately a charter flight on one of our most important trade lanes from Hong Kong to Manila, accommodating urgent shipments from our important customers, which arrived in Manila before the city went into lockdown,” Wong said.