COVID-19 Updates

Last Updated: Thursday 21/05/2020

This page serves to update you with all the latest changes caused by the COVID-19 Virus.


Updates: 21/05/2020

No further updates other than the below listed


Airline’s have stabilized their cargo routes, and they are adding more passenger flights on a weekly basis (as cargo flights). Various countries will slowly start to operate for public, as they gradually recant the measures of the lock-down. Upcoming month (May) will be the one that will get us closer to ”normality” as we knew it, as passenger flights, will start operating again. The question will be when and how exactly, and our next updates will be focusing on this topic. Cargo operations, will not have many changes, except the processing times, and the rates.

More and more airline routes are being added to the devastated Airline Network, stabilizing the new air cargo routes, while setting the new standards on rates and transit times. Reliable major airlines offer cargo services to major airports, worldwide, and thru our global dedicated network, we can connect more dots than the ones that have been put on the table. And if this cannot be done, we can always charter an airplane for sending your cargo to the desired destination.
All cases are handled on an ad-hoc basis.

The global Airfreight scheme seems to have been shaped, for the upcoming month, with the global air capacity reduced by an average of 90%. Despite this huge drop, situation seems stabilized for this month. Major airlines, like KLM, Lufthansa, Emirates, United Airlines, Qatar, Air China and Korean Air, have developed their flight schedules, with steady freight moves, connecting most of the dots for our industry. On top, almost all of them, are offering a full chartered service, enabling us to offer same if the forwarding operation within a short period of time, is essential.

During last week, many countries (including Singapore) imposed a general lock-down, for controlling the virus spread. These lock-downs, do not forbid the move of cargo, but, as some side services have been affected, we will experience some delays. To be more specific, Customs and Ground handling services, perform slower than usual, due to skeleton staff. In Singapore for example, where we needed. 8 to 12 hours, for having an Air shipment imported and delivered to the barge station, now we need approx. 2 days for the same services. The only country, up to the moment, that it’s logistic sector has been affected is South Africa (despite that, we have still manage to find solutions).

As stated from day one, cargo is vital and will continue to move, with the only affected elements to be, the transit time and the cost. Swift Marine, will create any solution available on the market, for moving your ship spares.

As of today, we will update this section on a weekly basis, and reporting only if there are any crucial news for our business.

Approx. 3 weeks have passed, from the time that WHO declared the COVID-19 epidemic, as pandemic, and all airlines, worldwide, are still trying to adapt to this new era. We are still experiencing daily changes, on the flight schedules offered, and we estimate that this will last for the next couple of months. As all Airlines, cancelled approx. 90% of the scheduled flights so far (all passenger flights), reducing drastically the capacity and the options to reach a destination, we experienced two difficult weeks, for finding the suitable solution.
We hope that things will get better from today, as China opened some airports during the weekend, and some new routes are now available. On top, the global decrease of the demand for Airfreight shipments, from affected industries (mostly retail), has given us some space availability! (if there is not an urgent medical transportation en-rooted)

We are now experiencing delays, at the import procedures on a destination (in many countries including Singapore which is our number one destination), as ground handlers and custom offices lack of manpower, following their countries’ regulations, for the absolute necessary personnel on a shift, on the fight against this virus.
Also there are some countries, that import and delivery is not possible for the moment. Some recent examples are Colombia, where they have entirely blocked the import and delivery of cargo, India and South Africa, where solutions cannot be found, at the moment, as both countries suffer from the complete lock-down restriction imposed by their government.

Despite all the above, rest assure, that Swift Marine, will offer you the best solution for your cargo needs, on an ad-hoc basis.

Everyday more airlines start to use passenger flights as cargo flights only, empowering the already poor and unstable network.
Situation will be difficult for the upcoming weeks, but cargo will be moved. However we must forget having the same transit times, as we have used to.
Always consult Swift Marine’s Operations Team, and for sure will create the best available solution for your needs.

More updates from the airlines that have an impact on the capacity for cargo moves and rates:
Korean Air and Emirates retains cargo operations, but temporarily suspends most passenger operations by March 25
Singapore Airlines will be cutting 96% of the capacity that had been originally scheduled up to end-April
Lufthansa’s intercontinental flight schedule from Frankfurt is as follows: three times a week to Newark, Chicago , Montreal , Sao Paulo , Bangkok , Tokyo and Johannesburg .
Lufthansa still offers 40 daily connections to the most important cities in Germany and Europe.
Swiss will in future offer three weekly long-haul flights to Newark .
Turkish Cargo continues to increase the number of destinations with direct flights with its freighters.
United’s Airline international schedule will still be reduced by about 90% in April. UA will continue flying six daily operations covering Asia, Australia, Latin America, the Middle East and Europe
United Airlines has joined a host of other carriers offering its passenger aircraft up for cargo charter flights.
Additional freighter capacity is being deployed out of China.

All above support our initial statement that cargo is vital and will continue to move.

However, it is necessary to adjust to these new facts and forget for the time being ‘’transit-time’’ as it used to be.
Always consult Swift Marine operators, for any inquiry you may have, to create the proper solution for your needs.

Cargo is still moving globally, despite big disruptions from countries and airlines.
China is getting back to the game, with more flight options every day, but now major airlines from Europe and Middle East cancel more than 80% of their passenger flights.
That means we will experience capacity constrains, and delays, for reaching a destination that the passenger flight has been suspended.
Just an example, KLM airline, announced yesterday, that all available flights that will have from now on and until further notice are only the following:

The mean of transport that has been affected more, is the Airfreight sector, which represents more than the 60% of our daily operations.
Up top now, we have seen an increase in flight cancellations and thus a limited space with many operating carriers as well as an increase in freight rates globally.
Keeping up with the news regarding Air shipments, we have noticed both TIACA and IATA push all governments, to keep shipments flying.
Major airlines, announce that they will start using their passenger flights, as cargo, to support freight demands.
“We support IATA’s appeal to have air cargo recognised as vital in the fight against Covid-19, and for action to be taken – in particular, removing all travel restrictions on air cargo operations and taking all necessary measures to allow air cargo to continue to circulate around the world,” said Steven Polmans, TIACA chairman.
We closely monitoring the news and we adapt to this new environment, for giving you the best possible outcome.

Hereby below a tool we created for all cancelled flights ex all our Main Hubs (Amsterdam, Athens, Singapore, Seoul, Shanghai, Osaka).

Check also below IATA updates, for any country, at the below link:


Updates: 21/05/2020

No further updates other than the below listed.

The road and sea network has been stabilized, and is still moving. Swift Marine, will offer you the best solution for your cargo needs, on an ad-hoc basis.

All drivers in Europe’s boarders are experiencing long ques and delays. There is still no reaction, from the EC, regarding the request of many entities in the Logistic sector, for the Green Lanes. Currently there are limited disruptions in Netherlands, France, Germany, Scandinavian countries, Portugal, and the UK in boarder crossing, local pick ups, and delivery activities. Also in all these mentioned countries, we have noticed some minor capacity issues, with availability of carriers, and drivers.
Strong disruptions are noticed in Spain and Italy, as both countries are in Code 4 lock-down. Russia with Eastern European countries, have huge delays due to long traffic jams, or even some temporary closure of boarders.

Despite all the above, rest assure, that Swift Marine, will offer you the best solution for your cargo needs, on an ad hoc basis.

The road transportation faces huge delays in EU boarder’s crossing, due to health checking procedures imposed at the boarders from each country. Many freight representatives have urged EU to create Green Lanes enabling a faster cargo move, but this seems that will take time for implementation.
Just to have an idea today there is a 19km queue of trucks waiting to cross the border from Austria into Hungary,
an 8km queue at the nearby Slovakia-Hungary border, a 9km queue from Hungary into Romania and a 6km queue at the main border crossing between Romania and Bulgaria.
Turkey, announced today, that all drivers entering Turkey, coming from a Covid-19 positive country, will have to stay in a 14 day quarantine, making impossible the connection when trucks are not driven by a Turkish driver.
Always consult Swift Marine’s Operations Team, and for sure will create the best available solution for your needs.

Every day, more European countries impose health and safety measures to their borders, creating some delays, but cargo is still circulating among them.
Overall there is no problem in the Road freight between the European countries.

The rest 40% (Road, Sea, Courier) is facing some delays and slight rate increases but in general is far better and workable than the Air industry.
Despite Spain and Italy, where we have strong disruptions rest EU countries are currently working with some limited disruptions on the availability of drivers and equipment.
Due to the ongoing closing of European borders, we experience some delays both in international- and local deliveries.
Although we are facing daily changes from all means of transportation, as well as changes in many counties’ regulations , we will continue to do our best to offer solutions while adapting to these hard times.

From end of week 11, Swift Marine followed governmental instructions, and all employees from our offices, worldwide are working remotely from home, in order to keep providing you with the best quality of service possible.
Rest assured that cargo, will still move on, as it is vital for all people, economies and businesses.
We ask of you to continue making requests for all your cargo’s needs to any destination, and we will be here to check all options on an ad hoc basis and shall offer the best possible solutions.

Swift Marine’s well trained designated personnel will assist you in any forwarding operation you may have continue to offer the utmost for your cargo needs.