COVID-19 and its impact on transportation and logistics is unlike anything we have ever experienced. Like all other companies within our industry, Rhumveld has also dealth with logistical challenges during this Covid-19 period.
Around 90 percent of the worlds trade is carried out through sea freight and amongst other things, we are faced with a high number of ‘blanked sailings’ and a lack of container equipment, globally.
A ‘blank sailing’ is a sailing that has been canceled by the carrier, which may mean one port is being skipped, or the entire route is canceled. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic is currently affecting supply chains across the world with the consequence that the major carriers are experiencing equipment shortages – particularly in Asia with 40ft high cube containers and 20ft containers in South America.
To minimize these issues , we work together with leading professional shipping agents and keep in close contact with our suppliers, in each step of the process.
Another challenge is to receive all documents in time. Since all foreign authorities face with less office capacity and the speed of sending the original documents is not at the optimum level. , the challenge of not receiving all documents in a timely manner, can be encountered regularly. To simplify the flow of documents we instruct our suppliers to issue an ‘Express Bill of Ladings’ . Also, Organic certificates can be signed-off digitally , or in some cases, submitted afterwards. In this way a shipment can be handled with only copy-documents.
However, a promising alternative to ocean freight and the expensive air freight between China and Europe is ‘rail-freight’. The first regular train from the Chinese mega city Chongqing to Duisburg, Germany started in 2011. In 2014, the Yuxinou train became the first direct, permanent rail connection between Germany and China. Since then, the number of freight trains traveling regularly between the People’s Republic and Duisburg has steadily increased.
Next month we expect to receive the first shipments via this rail route.