Transport during COVID-19



                Often in crisis situations, we are aware of the importance of the smooth flow of goods around the world. Humanity needs food, medicine, or first need articles. The transport industry is closely monitoring the situation that is currently happening in the international markets. Despite the possibility of performing their work, carriers encountered huge problems associated with restrictions that were implemented by individual countries in the fight against coronavirus. The stigma that has left an impact on the freight forwarding industry will be felt for a long time, like a burning wound that does not want to heal.

                The initial restoration of control and the initiation of sanitary procedures at the borders of EU countries caused great chaos, which resulted in the extension of the ETA (estimated time of arrival) along with other issues, i.e. the estimated time of arrival of the transport to the place of unloading. The opening of green corridors for road transport has helped to minimize these negative effects.

                The freezing of the global economy has put many transport companies in a very difficult situation, which is a decrease in transport orders or lower freight rates, causing headaches for many transport company owners. An important turning point may be the return of one of the biggest players - China, whose economy is slowly beginning to recover after a long downtime just as the largest factories which are resuming their production, causing logistics companies to regain hope for a better tomorrow.

                The INELO Group conducted statistical research on a group of over 800 carriers providing international transport services, who were asked about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their business. Statistics show that about 81% of entrepreneurs struggle with fewer transport orders, 64% of companies declared lower freight rates, and 58% of the respondents lost permanent transport contracts.

What will be the future of the transport industry after coronavirus?

                 This question cannot be answered because we don't really know when or if we will break free from the virus. We know one thing - we must live here and now, in a new reality, in which COVID 19 has its mark not only on the global economy but above all on our lives. We have to get used to the thought that the world will no longer be the same, and we need to adapt to the prevailing conditions to survive.

                The global economy will still be limping for a long time, and it may take many years for it to fully recover. That is why it is important to have the ability to react quickly to changing conditions only because of flexibility and compromises can we ensure rebounding from the bottom and surfacing. This also applies to the entire transport industry.

                Experts predict various scenarios for the transport industry for 2020. Factors that were taken into account during the analysis and simulation may change quickly, however, it was assumed that the decline cycle in the demand will increase. At the moment there are no studies that would predict by how much will the demand on the European market decrease, therefore it is difficult to make reliable projections. The following charts, which were developed for the purpose of the expertise of the Open Eyes Economy Summit, present the hypothetical impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the demand for road transport services.




Source: "Expertise. Warning diagnosis and guidelines for further road haulage operations in the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis", Open Eyes Economy Summit, Poznan, Warsaw, April 22, 2020


                     Thanks to the data shared from April 2020 we know that since the pandemic broke out (Wuhan - December '19) in Europe, there has been a decline in demand for transport services on the international market. In the first quarter the number of transport orders decreased significantly, which can be seen in each model presented above. Due to the gradual unlocking of European economies, there are indications that this trend may change due to the restart of major European factories and some other reasons and this may cause the demand to increase significantly. It is likely that at the end of the second quarter of 2020 the global demand curve will move up. It is not known, however, when it will happen these are only assumptions and speculations of experts.





"Ekspertyza. Diagnoza ostrzegawcza i wytyczne dalszych działań transportu drogowego rzeczy w warunkach kryzysu wywołanego pandemią COVID-19", Open Eyes Economy Summit,  Poznań, Warszawa, 22 kwietnia 2020