The Impacts Of COVID-19


The Covid-19 situation has created a range of circumstances affecting everyone in Freight services. Some of these effects have impacted different places in the logistical chain. e.g… flight lock-downs, closures of Govt departments and SOE or the release of goods from customs.

A major impact is the lock-down of air services that deliver the majority of our GDP and all the essential small items that are heavily relied on by our small island nation. Foodstuffs, automotive and machinery parts and consumables, manufacturing supplies, medical supplies… just some of the essential supplies.

With no air services for the foreseeable future, we have to look at sea freight options and accept that sea transit times are of course much longer. Times from Australia have been consistent with roughly two week gaps between vessels and transit time from Brisbane of 5 or 6 days on fair seas.

Some of the options that Fr8 are pursuing consist of:

  • For Australian air freight and courier services still able to move, we are looking to route everything into Brisbane where the items will be consolidated up until the last minute possible and then loaded on the vessel to Vanuatu.
  • Making more use of Fiji and NZ as freight hubs. This is not looking promising for reasons beyond the scope of this advisory.
  • Use charter flights. This is a high-risk option due to the possibility of changed entry and exit rules that could see the plane and/or crew grounded plus the cost of charters is very high and low payloads would result in financial calamity.

At times like this, we need to stretch our imaginations and bend the ears of our contacts to find solutions that will work for all. I enjoy the challenge of doing so.

Chris Kernot