Spotlight – Briefing series on logistics

//Spotlight – Briefing series on logistics

Spotlight – Briefing series on logistics

By |2020-06-03T07:37:16+00:00April 16th, 2020|

Spotlight – briefing series on logistics

In this section, we are sharing recent information around updates and changes across fresh produce logistics in different countries and elevating the real experiences of fruit and vegetable producers and traders on the front lines of the crisis.

Click on the most recent date to see the last updates:

  • European fruit & vegetables exporters and importers report the situation with sea logistics has slowly gone back to normal, with the cost of reefer container ocean freights having gone back to pre-emergency levels (December 2019-January 2020) and have even dropped a little in some cases due to the lower cost of oil (Fresh Plaza, 29th of May)
  • After the crisis, many seaports are moving fast to digitization to improve and facilitate accessibility, keeping better track of incoming and outgoing goods, especially the exchange of digitized documents and the availability of a mobile app to operators so they can “announce” their arrival at the terminal (Fresh Plaza, 29th of May).
  • Air traffic has almost come to a standstill, as exports by air largely use the freight capacity offered by passenger aircraft. However, some passenger aircraft have been transformed into cargo aircraft. It is reported Kenya Airways converted four of its empty passenger jets and has shipped out more than 40,000 tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetables since mid-April (Reuters, 19th of May).
  • In Kenya, the number of international airlines at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) has witnessed a sharp growth in capacity over the last one month, with the number of cargo airlines now standing at almost 12 from a low of three when the Covid-19 outbreak struck, following a high demand for freight services for horticulture produce. The latest entrants are British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines flying daily from JKIA and KLM three times a week with also making a couple of trips to Europe and China. However, it is anticipated a decline in freight demand as volumes of produce will drop due to rainfalls and other factors (Fresh Plaza,  19th of May).
  • Freight charges at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) have come down by almost half due to increased capacity of pushing the cost of freight down to Sh236 for a kilo from Sh525 for the same quantity previously (Business Daily, 27th of May).
  • In Rwanda, there are three weekly flights to Europe: two RwandAir and one by Ethiopian Airlines. The Ethiopian Airline is more expensive of the two priced at $2.15 per Kilogramme with NAEB subsidizing by $0.45 to reduce the cost. Currently, the cost of airfreight has been said to be high by exporters standing at $1.8 per kilogramme compared to $1.4 before the pandemic (New Times, 26th of May).
  • Suspension of all passenger flights remains in all countries. Allowed cargo flights only.
  • Cargo carriers have increased the number of charters. Still, some passenger airlines are bringing cargo.
  •  KLM Cargo, Kenya Airways, and Rwanda air keep offering cargo services. More flights are planned to support Mother’s Day demand in May.
  • Is reported in Kenya that freight costs have shot up over the Covid-19 period to levels between Sh450 and Sh700 per kilogramme from Sh130 to 330/kg in January. (Business Daily Africa)
  • Rwanda Air is going to offer a second weekly flight. On Fridays, the flight takes almost 32,000 KG of fresh produce such as green beans, chillies and habanero from nine different Rwandan exporters. The route is Kigali, Rwanda to Brussels, Belgium to London Gatwick, UK before returning to Kigali, Rwanda (Fresh Plaza)
  • Sea freight operating as normally as possible. There are no reported changes in the situation of the European ports. They remain fully operational. The impact on sea fright operations of the previous weeks, reporting lower operational levels, such as vessel delays and diversion, limited availability of containers and reefers, is slowly picking up (Coleacp).
  • Transport of goods inside Europe is not directly affected.

  • InspiraFarms client consultation
  • Business Daily Africa – https://www.businessdailyafrica.com/economy/Corona-to-cut-farm-exports-by-Sh150bn/3946234-5545800-view-asAMP-prdakt/index.html
  • Coleacp – https://eservices.coleacp.org/en/actu/covid-19-update-on-trade-and-markets-in-acp-countries-and-the-eu-for-horticultural-products
  • Business Daily Africa – https://www.businessdailyafrica.com/news/counties/Special-pass-for-fresh-produce-transporters/4003142-5530614-vf81aj/index.html?fbclid=IwAR0SclPNMpWVvHqBvHlEmiW1py7Qxh3dINJBNa3lmYvW-AIjDnHwVpwzOKk
  • Fresh Plaza – https://www.freshplaza.com/article/9210475/kenya-the-netherlands-agree-to-two-flights-weekly/
  • Suspension of all passenger flights remains in all countries. Allowed cargo flights only, an exemption for food cargo flights, humanitarian aids operations including medical and relief flights, and technical lading.
  • Cargo carriers are increasing the number of charters. The demand is so high that some passenger airlines are adapting or modifying their passenger aircraft in order to bring more cargo, even removing the seats from the cabin.
  • For South Africa, KLM Cargo is flying in three times a week and there is additional space from refrigerated trucks running into Joburg and flying out from there. (Coleacp).
  • Kenya Airways uplifted 40 tons of flowers & veg to Amsterdam. More flights are planned to support Mother’s Day demand in May.

  • For most African countries exporting fresh to Europe, the drastically reduced airfreight capacity, doubled airfreight costs and increased transit times has impacted strongly the fresh fine vegetables (French beans, snow peas, sugar snaps, baby corn).
  • Kenya and the Netherlands have agreed to two flights a week to foster economic ties amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Starting Tuesday, April 21, and Sunday, April 26, Air France KLM Martinair, Cargo will operate two weekly cargo flights bringing 45-50 tons of cargo from Nairobi to Amsterdam, mostly transporting cut flowers and fruit and vegetables (Fresh Plaza)
  • Sea freight operating as normally as possible. There are no reported changes in the situation of the European ports. They remain fully operational. The impact on sea fright operations of the previous weeks, reporting lower operational levels, such as vessel delays and diversion, limited availability of containers and reefers, is slowly picking up (Coleacp).
  • Transport of goods inside Europe is not directly affected. Border controls are stronger in many countries, with long queues are reported, especially between central European countries.
  • In Kenya, from this week transporters are required to produce special passes to be allowed to ferry fresh produce, as a measure to curb the spread of Covid-19. The new guideline applies to producers, business operators, suppliers, distributors, aggregators, processors and exporters (Business Daily Africa).

  • InspiraFarms client consultation
  • Coleacp – https://eservices.coleacp.org/en/actu/covid-19-update-on-trade-and-markets-in-acp-countries-and-the-eu-for-horticultural-products
  • Business Daily Africa – https://www.businessdailyafrica.com/news/counties/Special-pass-for-fresh-produce-transporters/4003142-5530614-vf81aj/index.html?fbclid=IwAR0SclPNMpWVvHqBvHlEmiW1py7Qxh3dINJBNa3lmYvW-AIjDnHwVpwzOKk
  • Fresh Plaza – https://www.freshplaza.com/article/9210475/kenya-the-netherlands-agree-to-two-flights-weekly/
  • Most cargo flights will be operating in some countries, but as passenger flights are not operating this is reducing in more of 30% the cargo possibilities.
  • Majority of fresh produce exports depend on commercial flights and growers now have to seek alternatives, like more indirect and more expensive routes to export their produce.
  • An agro-exporter in South Africa reports international routes are operative, but now are facing challenges due to a slowdown on containers availability.
  • An agro-exporter in Zimbabwe reported that as flights have decreased, the prices for airfreight cargo has increased substantially, for instance, KLM is still exporting but it has increased prices from 1,60 – 3.10 EUR per Kilo. Refrigerated trucks are still driving to Johannesburg.
  • Coleacp reported there are limited flights connecting Europe with Africa. For instance, Air France and KLM have some flights available between Europe and Africa, but it is complicated to get space.
  • Some airline companies updated their cargo networks through their hubs. Emirates Sky Cargo updated its cargo network offering routes from Lagos, Entebbe, Nairobi and Khartoum through its hub in Dubai, with connections to major cities in central Europe. Qatar also has a few cargo flights from Entebbe, Nairobi and Djibouti to its hub in Doha, and connections to major European cities
  • Some national airlines and logistics companies are offering direct cargo capacity to Europe through charters, as to ensure continuity of service. Bollorè Logistics is offering this service.
  • According to Coleacp, DHL Aviation, specializing in cargo, is using its full capacity. But demand is so high it is increasing its freight rates by 40 or 50%. The immediate consequence is that fresh produce shipped to Europe is more expensive
  • Fedex and TNT have temporarily suspended all services to Africa.
  • The European ports remain operative, as it is the case for AntwerpRotterdamLe Havreand Hamburg. However, some ports report a number of ships have been cancelled.
  • Some logistics companies reports on risks around stockpiling due to not being able to ship out as planned.
  • Maersk has announced a list of blank sailings due to the reduced demand on global commerce. The company assures the services but with reduced frequencies. Producers will need to adapt to new sailing plans.
  • In some Africa countries, such as Rwanda, the governments are subsidizing air cargo increased tariffs and assuring direct and frequent flights to Europe.

Sources:

COLEACP. COVID-19 updates. https://eservices.coleacp.org/en/actu/covid-19-update-on-trade-and-markets-in-acp-countries-and-the-eu-for-horticultural-products