Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ash Proliferation Equals Volcanic Rise In Road And Rail Freight Shipping Enquiries

It's Not Only Passengers Seeking Alternative Transport Methods
Shipping News Feature

EUROPE – WORLD WIDE - With the situation showing little signs of improvement as the Icelandic volcano continues to spew its corrosive particles into the atmosphere, a litany of travellers’ tales and their attempts to escape the confusion fill the daily press. For the freight industry the effects are, to say the least, mixed. In Kenya agricultural workers are being sent home, the precious cargoes of flowers wilt uncut on the stem and effects on the local economy are devastating.

Many European shippers are reverting to road, and in some cases, rail consolidations to simply move goods as supply chains break down and stocks run out. Although air freight represents only a small percentage of inter European trade the need to send and receive many of the specialist and high value items normally shipped this way remains.

The Shipping Schedules Road Services directory section of the Handy Shipping Guide reports record levels of interest over the past few days as shippers search for alternative routes for stranded consignments. So whilst some in the shipping community suffer untold hardships, for others the disaster represents a chance to expand their customer base and forge new alliances.

Many European customers who traditionally use the air freight system may be pleasantly surprised at the new efficiency which exists throughout the region with regard to the road services. The infrastructure for what is perceived as a slower service is now excellent in most of the countries affected by the restrictions and given a first class operator, of whom there are many, no significant delays should be anticipated.

Shippers outside Europe, for many of whom air cargo is vital, should also not be too pessimistic. Apart from the vagaries of the weather it should be possible to fly cargo to alternative European hubs for transmission via the land based systems to other countries on the continent.

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