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Logistics Trends to Watch for in 2021

4 Logistics Trends to Watch for in 2021

2020 has been a challenging and difficult year for global populations. The changes in how we live, work, and connect with others have been fundamental, with a shift to digital and the proliferation of Internet commerce. Other areas such as economic growth and fighting global poverty took a step back. The logistics industry has been one of the most impacted by the global pandemic, and some interesting trends have surfaced. From contactless deliveries and omnichannel services to green logistics, demand for refrigerated goods, and robotic process automation, here are some of the trends to watch for. Contactless Deliveries and Omnichnnel… Read more

Storage and Retrieval

Warehouse Automation to Maintain Social Distancing and Increase Productivity

Warehouse automation is a major trend amidst a coronavirus pandemic that already entered its second year. The resulting global recession and lockdowns across the world brought industrial activity to a near halt. As manufacturers began to gradually reopen and resume operations, forwarders throughout Europe found themselves faced with multiple challenges – e-commerce logistics, a growing demand for essential commodities, restricted mobility, and social distancing. As a result of all this, logistics providers have been forced to seek ways to optimize resource use, shorten loading and shipping times, and increase productivity. Many companies turned to warehouse automation in an attempt to… Read more


Hakull-Group 75 years

It is a strong name in the Norwegian Transport and Forwarding industry, which in 2021 looks back on 75 years of operation. We are quite proud, still being a family owned business in a market consisting of major constellations. Nevertheless, the Hakull-group is a strong brand looking back on 75 years.     Today owners are Gudmund Hakull (73), Kjartan Hakull (50) and Lena Hakull (47). The financial situation in the group is solid. Total turnover last year passed € 55 Million Tallak Hovstad (55) is another key person in the Group. He started in the company back in 1996…. Read more

Air Fleets in Vaccine Delivery

Ships to Join Air Fleets in Vaccine Delivery

The number of coronavirus vaccine shipments is steadily increasing as rollout begins in more countries and more products become available. While the jabs are mostly transported by land and air, ships are also expected to join the race against the global pandemic. According to Financial Times, ships will get involved in vaccine distribution so that shots reach healthcare professionals instead of piling up in warehouse facilities. Why Use Ships? According to European logistics experts, vaccine supply and distribution is expected to exceed air freight capacity by the middle of 2021. Because of the surplus of jabs, the supply chain will… Read more

China’s Lockdown to Global Structural Imbalances

From China’s Lockdown to Global Structural Imbalances

Every stage of the global supply chain is facing a shipping crisis and forcing forwarders to make significant changes to their operations. Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions have already resulted in additional operating expenses for businesses and reduced customer satisfaction. The main issue is the higher freight rates due to the difficulty of booking shipping slots, especially on certain dates, with many deliberating on keeping safety stocks. This strategy allows them to build extra time and use raw materials between deliveries. Some plants have even taken downtime due to shortages of raw materials. Others, especially in China, shut down temporarily because… Read more

forwarders throughout Europe

Commercial Road Transport: Current State and Economic Outlook

Commercial road transport has been hard hit due to traffic restrictions and the economic downturn. The global economy fell into recession last year and is not expected to recover to pre-pandemic levels in 2021. Social and economic recovery from the global crisis depends on road transport which accounts for more than 80 percent of the logistics and transport services. At the same time, logistics operators are facing default and insolvency risk and few have benefited from cash grants and other types of financial incentives.     Default Risk Freight forwarders throughout Europe and globally are facing very high or high… Read more

Shipping Covid-19 Vaccines

Is Shipping Covid-19 Vaccines by Rail Freight a Solution

Being a perishable, temperature-sensitive commodity, vaccines are normally shipped by air. Amidst an ongoing pandemic in its second year, global rollout is the key to controlling the virus but airlines have been forced to scale down operations. This is mainly due to a significant decline in passenger traffic and flight restrictions. With hundreds of planes grounded for months, virtually all airlines have been hard hit. But even operating at full capacity, 8,000 Boing 747 cargo planes would be needed to deliver vaccines globally to each of the world’s 7.8 billion people. Not only this but shipping costs will increase substantially… Read more

shipping vaccines

Data Integrity Crucial to Global Vaccination Efforts

For most people logistics companies are simply in the business of shipping cargo and goods from point of origin to final destination. While this is certainly true, they are also involved in data collection, analysis, and processing. Safe and efficient shipping requires data from a variety of sources such as analytics and transport management solutions, enterprise resource planning systems, and real-time navigation systems, to name a few. Freight forwarders also use sensors to monitor factors such as sudden starts and stops, speed, vibration, and temperature inside containers. And while data is valuable, just having it is not enough. Data integrity… Read more

supply chain disruptions

Slowdown in Container Circulation due to Reduced Labor Productivity

The slow circulation of containers, together with increased cargo volumes, has led to supply chain disruptions and reduced capacity, resulting in significant delays and rate increases. Box shipping rates have spiked due to strong demand and container shortages and are projected to continue going up. Reasons for Slowdown in Circulation The slow circulation of containers is due to multiple factors, including higher volumes, increased demand, and reduced labor productivity at marine terminals and warehouses. While some are blaming carriers for reducing capacity to match demand with supply, the main issues seem to be service reliability and labor productivity, combined with… Read more

Rail Freight

End of China’s Rail Freight Subsidies and Impact on Stakeholders

Rail freight is a cost-effective alternative to air freight for shipping cargo from China to Europe. Air delivery is expensive for both consignees and shippers while ocean freight transit times are slower, making rail transport a solution that sits in between. Why Use Rail Freight for Shipments from China As the borders between Europe and China remain open amidst the pandemic, rail freight is not facing any serious disruptions. There is also a trend of shipping more medical supplies and personal protective equipment by railway instead of by air freight. This is because demand has slowed down in recent months,… Read more

Parcel Marketplace

Challenges for Shippers Operating in the Parcel Marketplace

The parcel marketplace is facing serious challenges due to Covid-19, including difficult service conditions and lack of capacity resulting from a huge surge in B2C shipments. This has already led to increased operating and shipping costs for freight forwarders because carriers have implement peak surcharges. This trend has been ongoing since the onset of the global pandemic and is projected to continue until more vaccines are distributed to inoculate the global population. This is when more consumers and freight forwarders are expected to return to normal.     Reasons for Shipping Price Hikes The shift to digital and the acceleration… Read more

Vaccine Supply Shortage

What Is Causing EU’s Vaccine Supply Shortage

The EU recently threatened to impose export controls on Covid-19 vaccines manufactured in Europe. This move came after AstraZeneca announced a significant reduction in the number of dozes it could deliver by March. As a result, a political crisis followed, with debates to block the export of vaccines to the North. In case the bloc decides to trigger the emergency provision, the new regulation would also require that pharmaceutical manufacturers report the destination and quantity of exports, enabling states to block vaccine flows. While the EU reversed its decision to impose controls, the question that begs to be answered is… Read more

Air Freight

Uses of Air Freight: Shipping Time-Sensitive and High-Value Commodities

Air freight is expensive compared to other modes of transportation and thus is limited by cost. Freight rates vary between €1.25 and €3.75, which makes it 12 – 16 times more expensive than sea transport and 4 – 5 times more costly than road freight. For this reason, it is usually used for items that are time-sensitive or of high value, including perishable seafood products and agricultural produce, electronics, consumer goods, fashion clothing, pharmaceuticals, documents, and production samples. Air transport is also used for emergency shipments and just-in-time production as well as for exports from developing countries, including commodities such… Read more

EU Trade Flows

The Impact of New Border Restrictions on EU Trade Flows

New border measures have been implemented across Europe, with the potential to cause significant supply chain disruptions. Experts warn that the restrictions introduced by Germany at its border crossings with the province of Tyrol, Austria and the Czech Republic may result in delays in freight delivery across the EU. Other countries that introduced such measures are Hungary, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden. Under the recently imposed restrictions, all truck drivers are required to present a negative Covid-19 test, which is likely to have a significant negative impact on trade flows. Borders are open but the green lanes have thus been closed,… Read more

Charter Service

Linear and Charter Ships, Types, Arrangements, and Routes

Merchant ships come in two varieties, charter or tramp vessels that transport cargo based on demand and linear vessels that have fixed schedules and operate on fixed routes. Trampers include bulk carriers and tankers operating in charter markets and shipping cargo from any port to any port. Linear vessels such as RoRo and container ships, on the other hand, have a fixed, regular routing and standard tariffs. Charter Service Charter vessels are typically hired to transport cargo over a certain route and for a specified period. The main charter types are time, voyage, and demise, with variations like contract of… Read more

Marine Vessels for Shipping

Types of Marine Vessels for Shipping Different Cargo Loads

Tankships, also known as tankers, carry a wide selection of gases and liquids as well as cargo such as wine, molasses, and vegetable oils. They are built to ship commodities in a way that minimizes risks, including fungal and bacterial growth, spoilage of foods, and volatile behavior. Other ships are used to transport livestock, including specialized vessels and modified bulk carriers that are designed to ship different types of animals. This means that the choice of vessel is important in ensuring safety during transit.     Food Foodstuff includes items such as partially processed, frozen, packaged, and fresh food, most… Read more

Shortage of Empty Containers

Shortage of Empty Containers Causing Price Hikes

The cost of transporting cargo from China to Europe has skyrocketed in the past two months because of a significant shortage of empty containers amidst the pandemic. Long waiting times at airports forced airlines to charge extra for container shipping which also contributed to rate hikes.     Why Rates Soared This is due to global supply chain disruptions causing the cost of a 40-foot container to increase to over $9,000, up from $2,000. According to consultancy SeaIntelligence expert Lars Jensen, it is companies fighting for containers that is driving rates up, turning them into a limited resource. Shipping lines… Read more

Freight Documents

Important Freight Documents to Submit When Shipping Internationally

There are certain freight documents that forwarders must be familiar with, including letter of credit, certificate of origin, commercial invoice, bill of lading, and packing list. Even a seemingly small error while filling in paperwork can cause significant shipping delays, thus disrupting the supply chain.   Bill of Lading This is a type of freight document that works as a contract between the cargo owner and shipper. The exporter and importer details must be filled in, including information such as number of packages, list of goods, dates of arrival and departure, ports of destination and departure, and consignee and consignor… Read more

refrigeration transport Vaccine

Global Vaccine Delivery Efforts and Challenges Ahead

With vaccines being developed and approved for use in the hope to protect billions around the world, countries are facing a formidable challenge – distributing hundreds of millions of doses requiring ultra-cold shipping. The near-simultaneous delivery of millions of jabs not only requires significant production capabilities but also puts pressure on logistics businesses engaged in distribution. Challenges That Lie Ahead The world is already facing a shortage of shipping resources, especially when it comes to refrigeration transport. One problem is that refrigerated truck and air cargo carriers are in high demand that already exceeds supply. Another is that carriers are… Read more

European logistics industry

Trends That Will Transform the Logistics Industry in the Post-Covid-19 Era

With vaccines receiving regulatory approval for roll out by national authorities, hopes are high that the pandemic is slowly coming to an end. It has been a difficult year, however, with millions of people hard hit by restrictions, lockdowns, and school closures. Many industries have been affected as well and are still struggling to recover while others shut down. It is safe to say that the European logistics industry has been hit like many others and is continuously adapting to meet safety protocols and current demand.     What we are likely to witness is small businesses disappearing, rising prices,… Read more