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Customer Advisory COVID-19

Since the COVID-19 virus has spread, we have extended our COVID-19 customer update. We have compiled and aggregated facts and figures across all business areas as well as covering all regions. Please continue to be engaged with your account managers on your latest plans, prices and projections. We continue to make every effort to support your business.

Market Updates

  • Europe 

(Apr 09, 2020)

Transportation of all goods by DB Schenker is not restricted by travel restrictions for most of the countries. For any potential cases of disruptive conditions, we follow our predefined contingency plans to ensure flows of cargo as much as possible.

In case lead times and / or costs cannot be secured selectively, we kindly ask for your understanding. System Premium shipments are still accepted and will be handled with highest priority and fastest possible lead times. Nevertheless, we ask for your understanding that, under the given circumstances, we need to suspend the money back guarantee of our System Premium product until further notice.

As some receivers closed their operations, we ask all shippers to check the delivery possibility with the consignee. DB Schenker reserves the right to send back shipments that cannot be delivered and charge the return accordingly or charge for storage in our warehouse.

  • Asia Pacific 

(Apr 09, 2020) - There are no significant updates in status from the previous advisory.

(Apr 06, 2020) - China land transport recovery up to 85%, with Wuhan to reopen on April 8. Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines operate below pre-COVID-19 levels.  

Japan, Korea, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand Land Transport still in operation at adequate levels, albeit with constrains and delays expected.

For India, land transport is functioning at 20–25 % capacity (across FTL, LTL, FCL). Drivers are facing a challenging environment, being subject to possible penalties and seizure of vehicles from the authorities due to documentation or other exigencies.

We expect an increase in TAT by 1-2 days for local placement across all modes of transport (LTL, FCL, LTL), along with transit time delays by 10-20% due to border checks and multiple blockades.

DB Schenker India can arrange security escort services where needed to move your essential cargo, to reduce roadblock, and facilitate connection to air and seaports. Contact your Account Managers for more details.

  • Middle East/Africa 

(Apr 06, 2020) - The Prime Minister of Egypt has imposed a curfew with effect from March 25. Trucks will not be allowed on the main highways during such hours (7 pm - 6 am daily). DB Schenker in Egypt has an appropriate business continuity plan in place to adhere to such restrictions. Please get in touch with your Account Manager for more information.

(Apr 06, 2020) - Complete lockdown in South Africa for 21 days with effect from March 27. Operations for food, medicine, and critical products will continue. DB Schenker in South Africa is a certified logistics service provider under essential services and will be operating during the lockdown.

(Apr 06, 2020) - Land distribution to GCC and Levant countries (via Saudi Arabia) have been suspended for general cargo. The commodities exceptional to this rule are food items, medical items, military / relief / aid items.

  • Americas 

(April 09, 2020) - USA: Capacity is available, however, certain regions at premium.

Mexico:  Cross-border still open and running. Some customers have shut down through April 30 due to government mandates and requirements of essential business vs non-essential business.

Canada: Operations mostly running normally. No issues with capacity.

Brazil: Working normally at slightly reducing volume levels. Borders between Brazil and other countries reduced the working hours

  • Global

(Apr 9, 2020) - The situation remains highly dynamic and this is also reflected in the changing market conditions on the major trade lanes. The overall demand ex China is further increasing especially with limited supply being available on the trade to Europe. In general, the situation changes by country depending on the COVID-19 impact and stage of each country. Especially transport demand for humanitarian goods, medical equipment and support goods has significantly increased throughout the last couple weeks. Any additional demand and therefore supply of capacity is largely depending on passenger cargo flights.

What we have done to support you:

Our console charter flight schedule now includes the following flight operations:

  • Europe – China – Europe: 3 flights per week (B747-400F)
  • Hongkong – Europe: 2 flights per week (B747-400F)
  • China – USA: 3 flights per week (B747-400F)
  • Europe – USA – Europe: 3 flights per week (MD11F and B747-400F)
  • USA – Australia: 1 flight per week (B777F)
  • Europe – India – Europe: 1 flight per week (B747-400F)
  • China (Chengdu) - Europe – China (Chengdu): 2 flights per week (B787 PAX Cargo Flight)

In case you need support on transport solutions for protective masks or similar medical equipment, please contact your account manager or local DB Schenker team for further details. We are ready to support you through our dedicated team and airfreight solutions!

  • Europe 

(Apr 09, 2020) - All offices remain in full operations with access to terminal handling and ground transportation. All our European hubs deliver import and receive export freight with no backlogs recorded towards the weekend. Operationally, our linehauls to and from the hubs remain on time. In some areas, our cross-border trucks might experience some minor delays.

Airfreight export market volumes are slightly lower due to Easter, but import is still very stable on a high level. China imports go very strong at continuously all-time highs due to an ongoing strong demand in medical supplies, protective gears, and face masks which DB Schenker continues to support with utmost priority.  

  • Asia Pacific 

(Apr 09, 2020) - There are no significant updates in status from the previous advisory.

(Apr 06, 2020) - An increasing number of countries in Asia are implementing lockdowns (or extending existing) in their respective countries, causing more constraints and limitation in manufacturing and movement of goods.

While some airlines have injected passenger flight capacity into the market, these are still insufficient to cater to the market demands.

Charter request continues to be high with strong demands also for the purpose for medical supplies, PPE, etc., which DB Schenker continues to support.

For India, market capacity remains constrained at less than 30%. We have put in place charter programs planned for April 2020. Do get in touch with your Account Managers for further details.

Congestion at airports continue to be a concern in view of possible damages and difficulty in locating cargo due to capacity utilization above 100%. We recommend customers to move cargo to transit warehouse or request for warehouse in factory (where possible) to be opened to accept cargo. We will continue to witness delays of up to 1-2 days in clearance and transportation across both air import and export shipments.

  • Middle East/Africa 

(Apr 09, 2020) – With effect from April 6, Emirates Airlines will start outbound passenger service from the UAE on selected routes. Initial flights will commence from Dubai to London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Paris, Zurich and Brussels with four flights a week to London Heathrow and three flights a week to the other cities. The airline will also carry belly-hold cargo in both directions. Please note that no inbound passengers are allowed to UAE from any country.

(Apr 06, 2020) – Belly capacity constraints remain as passenger services continue to be suspended in many other MEA countries. DB Schenker in the region can manage the current demand with available cargo capacity. Please note, airlines have withdrawn the contract rates until the situation resumes back to normal. 

(Apr 06, 2020) – In addition to inbound / outbound freighters, airlines are now introducing passenger-cargo flights to support the current market demand. Please get in touch with your Account Manager for more details.

Overall, our air freight operations in the countries remain uninterrupted as we continue to serve customers. In many countries, logistics and supply chains are considered business critical. Therefore, our services do not cease during lockdowns.



No operational restrictions for air cargo business

Qatar, Kenya, Oman, South Africa, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UAE , Egypt

Restrictions for operational air cargo business


  • Americas 

(Apr 09, 2020)


  • Market capacity and demand continue favorable. New China restrictions on passenger carriers are not impacting the USA exports significantly due to an abundance of inbound freighter flights that provide capacity on the return leg. Rates remain above pre-COVID-19 levels, however no exceptional highs. No major backlogs.

USA to Asia (excluding China):

  • Thailand, Singapore, and Japan tight with some backlogs. 
  • South Korea, India, Oceania and Australia critical. Passenger services are severely reduced and freighter operations are at capacity with some backlogs. South Korea heavily backlogged. Pricing at a premium.


  • Market demand is moderate to strong, but sufficient capacity to service customers. Pricing at a premium.
  • We are making full use of our alternative capacity on the freighter flight operations 3 x week ex ORD and ATL to FRA. 

USA-Latin America / Latin America to Europe and Asia Pacific:

  • Passenger services have become significantly reduced as well as Import demand to Latin America. Freighter capacity is enough to maintain services at slightly elevated pricing. 
  • Transit delays possible at airport / carrier terminal operations.

Airline Terminals Cargo handling:

  • Due to virus-related staff reductions, the JFK airport international cargo terminals have been heavily affected creating transit delays: Delayed releases and receipt of cargo.   

  • Global

(Apr 09, 2020) – Carriers reacted quickly to the dropping demand on volumes and thus a global blank sailing program emerged quickly during the course of last week. More than 200 blank sailings have been announced so far. This stretches over all alliances and over all trades. Market capacity on trunk routes in average have been cut down by 20-25% over the next four to six weeks. Capacity withdrawal program also include measures of slow steaming and re-touring of routes with the aim to burn less costs and longer transit times.

A month worth of inventory is still on the vessel towards the cargo receivers.

In order to prevent boxes clogging up the ports and causing congestion, several carriers have officially launched a delay in transit options. Boxes can be kept in yard storage in defined transshipment ports in order to avoid (higher) costs at destination due to operational obstacles at the receiving end.

Carriers have advised that there will be a potential need to adjust agreed transit times, routings and prices. We will continue to support our customers proactively with arranging allocation and making equipment available. At the same time, we are in contact with customers on the ability of receiving incoming volumes as we observe trucking shortages and a congestion of equipment at terminals, which could come costly.

Our advice for ensured uplift and forced delay of cargo:

➢ Please communicate with us: Forecast, Forecast, Forecast (6 to 8 weeks in advance are advisable, in particular for special equipment including food grade and reefer).
➢ Please consider to make use of SchenkerOcean Delay in Transit options in all trades as idling of boxes in the port will become costly.
➢ Please identify cargo of priority.
➢ Please consider to accept de-tour for the cargo: SchenkerOcean alternate routing options to ease bottlenecks (e.g. ship North Asian cargo via SEA to OCE).

  • Europe 

(Apr 09, 2020) - There is a very strong export booking situation in the market which is foreseen to come to an end due to PO cancellations starting as well as factory production sites closing down. The closing of private and public sectors all over Europe has started to affect port productivity. However, no impact on port operations reported. Vessel utilization is at 100% with roll-over scenarios during early April; rates have moved up significantly on trades to the East. Weeks 15-20 show dramatic capacity decreases of up to 54%. Significant capacity increases follow during weeks 21-23, however these services are under carriers’ review and we have to anticipate severe service changes. All European Ocean Freight Branches are fully functioning operationally.

  • Asia Pacific 

(Apr 09, 2020) – Ports in India are facing further congestion but as government is relaxing transport regulations, there is the expectation for some easing of the situation in coming days.

Japan has announced a state of emergency. Ports and transport companies will continue to operate as classified as essential industry.

For all APAC countries, customers are encouraged to use seawaybills to avoid reliance on original B/Ls as courier companies may not deliver timely in the coming weeks and most companies, including Schenker, are operating  increasingly with working from home based on health concerns and strict government regulations.

Philippines has extended the lockdown and we continue to discourage the use of Manila North Port due to severe congestion. Furthermore, delays in customs clearance continue.

  • Middle East/Africa 

(Apr 09, 2020) - Blank sailings in the GCC due to India’s lock down and slow demand. In order to minimize the impact to our customer’s supply chain and provide predictability, the ocean freight team in the region is equipped with a service plan and alternative routings. Please get in touch with your Account Manager for more information.

(Apr 09, 2020) - 95-100% vessel utilization out of Asia to MEA due to the pre-Ramadan rush. Also, strong utilization is seen ex North America to MEA.

(Apr 06, 2020) - 100% vessel utilization ex MEA especially to EU and North America has led to increased rates, PSS application and equipment shortage in all ports: Especially Oman is concerned as well as 20’ supply in UAE. Priority is given to perishables. All port operations are working fine. Our ocean freight offices in the countries continue to serve customers since logistics and supply chains are considered business critical as per local government directives. Moreover, we are closely monitoring the situation as the Ramadan season is around the corner.

(Apr 06, 2020) - As an alternative for airfreight and land transportation in GCC, DB Schenker is offering weekly less-than-container load (LCL) consoles from the port of Jebel Ali (AE JEA) to Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.

  • Americas 

(Apr 09, 2020) - TPeb bookings start to drop, however vessels during week 15 and 16 are still well utilized: First additional blank sailings to kick-in during week 15. No high hopes for the PSS / GRI announcements the week of April 15 and May 1.

Vessels leaving North America still sail extremely full: Equipment inventory status remains tight in all inland locations affecting US inland sites (HOU, MSY, OAK, CHI, MES/STP, CMH, CLE, CLT, LU 0I, MEM, and OMA). Peak bookings are expected to last until the end of April with successful GRI / PSS implementations. However, with fading volumes, fading rate levels are expected in parallel for the second half of April. Possible truck driver shortage.

Vessels leaving Lat Am due to dry fruit cargo rush until early May: Reefer in Chile extremely tight. Pressure on free times with no extension continues.

  • Global

(April 09, 2020) - As of today, we can provide temporarily available space to our customers around the world, e.g. to absorb potential backlogs. So please do not hesitate and consider getting in touch with us:

In case you are in need of temporary space, reach out to your
DB Schenker Account Manager or local contact person!

In terms of performance, there are no significant updates from the previous advisory. All life supporting sites remain fully operational on a global scale. The protection of staff continues to be our focus. Hence, we are monitoring and coordinating through stand-off management and on-site supervisions, a safe and productive site management method to maximize available resources and protect our workers from secondary contamination.

  • Europe 

(April 09, 2020) – All sites in our operations in Europe currently remain fully operational with precautionary measures in place for the health of workers.

Italy shows strong indications to constrict and shut down operations that are non-critical to the health of the citizens. Consumer operations around the region are operating at full speed in order to fulfill the distribution of food, sanitary, and healthcare-related products to Europe.

Southern Europe continues to show a stronger impact as Northern Europe deployed social distancing and work-from-home (WFH) initiatives in advance of the increase.

Automotive and industrial operations have restricted their activities across the region to minimal levels.

  • Asia Pacific 

(Apr 09, 2020) - There are no significant updates in status from the previous advisory. While governmental imposed restrictions in all APAC countries continue, our service levels are maintained so far serving our customers.

Please be advised that from April 9-14, DB Schenker Australia will be on extended Easter public holidays and as such will only have a skeletal crew over this period.

We would like to continue to remain close to our customers and hence ask:

Keep close communications with your day-to-day points of contact. Even with mandated split and remote teams, we stand ready to support your logistics needs!

(Apr 06, 2020) - Singapore announced enhanced restrictions on April 3, termed as  ‘circuit breaker’ measures, to be effective from April 7 to May 4. As logistics and supply chain related transports and services are categorized as ‘essential services’ there is no major impact to operations. Similarly, for Indonesia, which announced enhanced restrictions primarily on civilian movements, with logistics and freight exempted from impact.

The Japanese government has declared a state of emergency in major cities including Greater Tokyo, Osaka and Kobe (incl. Kanagawa Saitama, Chiba, Hyogo, and Fukuoka prefectures) from April 7 to May 6. At this stage, logistics operations are exempted from any restrictions.

India continues to be impacted the most, with the Philippines and Malaysia also significantly constrained.

New Zealand has moved to Level 4 (highest) nationwide lockdown until Apr 23, with only essential services (of which logistics and transport qualify) permitted to continue operating (within stringent limits) in order to support essential businesses. 

With imported infections continuing in the APAC countries, China is implementing restrictions in Yunnan and Henan provinces, whilst Hong Kong continues to extend the level of restrictions. We continue to monitor the situation closely for any potential impact to operations.

  • Middle East/Africa 

(Apr 09, 2020) - In South Africa, the government has initiated a lockdown for all businesses except for supermarkets, food and medical establishments. Respective DB Schenker sites remain functional with appropriate employee health and safety measures in place. Complete shutdown of all life activity, except food and other basic need businesses, in GCC and some African countries.

Saudi Arabia and Kenya have announced shutdowns of non-critical operations and the UAE continues.

  • Americas 

(Apr 09, 2020) - Overall, region Americas remains fully operational and continues to run all essential business supporting logistics operations.

 Update per countries:

  • Canada: customer non-essential sites remain closed until further notice
  • United States is further extending social distancing through April 30
  • Mexico is operating per government mandate
  • The Peruvian Government has extended the state of national emergency until April 26Argentina: essential business remains open, while non-essential businesses remain closed most probably until April 13

  • Global Projects & Industry Solutions

(Apr 06, 2020) - The number of requests for solutions related to break bulk shipments is still high as various transport options are evaluated by customers in various markets. Despite cancelled liner sailings, in some trades, break bulk shipping capacity with multi-purpose vessels (MPP) is still widely available. Bookings can be placed for break bulk, out-of-gauge cargo, but also for cargo types, which are normally transported containerized. Operational delays are expected following various lockdowns and restrictions announced. In addition, quarantine measures are in place for various ports which have an impact on lead time and costs.

Our dedicated Global Projects & Industry Solutions teams around the world are fully operational and help clients develop customized transport solutions for all break bulk or out-of-gauge shipments or any other project shipment independent of markets and trade lanes.

  • Fairs, Events and Special Logistics

(April 06, 2020) - With the majority of fairs and events worldwide being postponed or cancelled, we understand the strain on event organizers, exhibitors, participants, and contractors. We are in close contact with the leading organizers and associations worldwide and continue to monitor all developments closely. 

Our Global Fairs & Events Service Center is available to answer all your questions and assist you in all situations with tailormade solutions. 

Reach out and contact our colleagues at customerservices.fairs@dbschenker.com.

Update: Expo2020 Dubai  

The UAE government has officially requested the postponement of Expo 2020 Dubai to October 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. The formal decision will be made in June, but we do expect a postponement to next year. We will keep you updated. Our Expo 2020 team in Dubai is ready to support you with all logistic challenges a postponement will have. Please contact us if you require any kind of advice or support.

Update: Sports Events

The rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympics will take place from July 23 – August 8, 2021. This postponement will lead to multiple changes in the global sports calendar with many dates of previously scheduled events to change.

Our Sports Events teams are globally available and prepared to deal with the new situation and its challenges. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding early return transportation, interim storage or other logistical requirements in connection with this postponement.

DB Schenker Organizational Update

DB Schenker is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation. With precautionary measures in place, we are aiming to maintain full operability across all DB Schenker operations. In our offices across all continents, we have taken action to enable as many employees as possible to work from home to help instill the social distancing guidelines put in place by public authorities or the government in many countries. Our first priority is the health of our employees and partners. We adhere to the recommendations of health experts, especially WHO, related to, for example, hygiene precautions.

We will continue to regularly update this advisory as the situation develops.
Thank you for your patience and support.
DB Schenker COVID-19 Customer Advisory Team

We have used our utmost care in providing the information above. While the information above has been provided to the best of our knowledge and ability, the DB Schenker Group does not assume any liabilities arising from this information of the use thereof.