8:42am 12th May 2020
Due to the Covid-19 crisis, a great many countries are on lockdown to help prevent the spread of the virus.
Our members are actively working together to continue business despite the lockdown, to secure more business in an overall market which is in decline because of the financial knock on effect of the virus.
One factor making life difficult for our members is the huge increase in air freight prices which is over-pricing goods urgently required globally. Furthermore we are seeing the grounding of thousands of aircraft and some operators having to declare bankruptcy.
WITH LIMITED AVAILABILITY AIR FREIGHT RATES ARE PUNITIVE
Due to this problem, forwarders are starting to look to vessel operators to fill the gap and although transit times are slower, the overall cost is much cheaper either moving as LCL or FCL.
To help its membership, The FPS Group Board comprising of Sam Aparo, Kettivit Sittisoontornwong and Iskandar Zulkarnain, is working closely with Maersk Corporate Headquarters in Denmark who is offering corporate rates to all FPS members and is working more closely with The FPS Group Board.
Monthly conference calls are being held with the Advisory Board and members are kept updated on developments.
Please see the article released by Vincent Clerc, CEO of Ocean and Logistics at Maersk.
While the impact of the crisis is starting to being felt both across your and our business, we remain determined to support you through this and we are taking all necessary measures to keep our ships sailing, ports operating and - ultimately - global trade moving.
While the current situation is unavoidably adding pressure to our business too, we want to reassure you that Maersk went into this situation from a position of strength and is a well and conservatively financed company, with a solid foundation to see you and your important cargo through these volatile times.
I shared with you last week, that the only responsible thing was to review our network in line with the demand you bring, and I am grateful that we have seen an open dialogue between customers and our teams enabling us to do so. We continue to do everything we can to find solutions for you to cope with the disruption while we also seek to maintain our reach and take appropriate measures to minimize our exposure. In executing the network changes, we also put extensive focus on advising customers in a timely manner to enable you to make and needed adaptations.
VESSELS ARE STILL OPERATING BUT WITH SOME DELAYS
Ships are sailing, ports are functioning, intermodal transport is underway, however, we all also face disruptions outside our control, such as labour shortage due to quarantine measures which may at times lead to instances of congestion. We therefore also encourage you to minimize port stays and detention of containers as much as possible in order to minimize the risk of congestion and maintain the flow of your goods, as well as the terminal operations and container fleet. Instead please do reach out to us and we can help you with alternative solutions which may help you address for instance fluctuating demand. Please see www.maersk.com/stay-ahead and specifically here under the section on service adjustments. Here you will find a global overview of where first ocean transportation adjustments are being made as well as concrete solutions from Maersk to mitigate this, eg. keeping your cargo in a transshipment hub stopping it before it lands with you at your destination.
For all of us to come best out of the COVID-19 crisis it is important that we continue to work closely together and that all parties involved in the logistical supply chain, from terminals to cargo owners, continue the spirit of partnership and collectively make an effort to keep the fluidity of intermodal freight transport for cargo which has already been shipped to be removed from the port and devanned in a timely fashion, with empty equipment returned promptly.
Finally wishing you once again good health and a huge thanks to your and our teams who are balancing this situation with home demands. We continue to serve our customers through the known channels with remote access to relevant systems supported by strong IT connectivity, robust business continuity processes and dedicated staff.
CEO of Ocean and Logistics at Maersk
On behalf of our membership we would like to thank Maersk for their commitment to continue operating and keep strategic cargo moving worldwide.
Chairman, FPS Group
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