Mainfreight Limited

04/06/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 04/05/2020 22:54

Air & Ocean Service Announcement | Coronavirus COVID-19 Update

The international and domestic supply chain environment, and the reactive measures being deployed by governments around the world, has continued to be dynamic.

As we have outlined in previous updates, in all but a couple of cases (India being one), borders have remained open for cargo, with freight and logistics recognised and supported by governments as an essential service.

Air freight globally continues to redevelop, with services becoming more dependent on freight-only scheduled and charter services. Rate volatility is a feature of this new landscape, although we are hopeful this will become more consistent as we move towards more scheduled services.

Sea freight is less changeable, although reduced demand is driving an increase in port omissions and blank sailings. This appears principally in markets where production and/or consumption is impacted by social isolation measures, much as we see in New Zealand where a lockdown is in place for all but very defined essential services.

All 275 Mainfreight branches in Europe, Asia, The Americas and Australasia, continue to be operational as outlined in Monday's COVID-19 update.

The Mainfreight team have provided regional updates overnight:

New Zealand

As highlighted in our previous updates, development has been ongoing around a number of initiatives which will provide support for air freight users into and out of New Zealand in the short and medium term.

Charter services between Auckland and Shanghai have begun this week, with the forwarding community and Air New Zealand co-operating to provide increased services over the coming weeks.Mainfreight is expecting to have a flight every week in April, supported by several mid-week options using both scheduled services and Air New Zealand charters.

While we are successfully finding space for other key origins and destinations, we expect to add more charter services in the coming weeks.

Sea/air multi-modal solutions on longer trade routes, particularly Europe to New Zealand, are increasingly being employed where the sea only transit is prohibitive, but there is not a requirement for an end-to-end air freight service.

If you have an immediate air freight requirement, there are increasing options across commercial and charter services emerging across most trade lanes, so please get in touch with your local Mainfreight Air & Ocean team as soon as possible.

Sea freight in New Zealand has been demand led in regards to schedule changes, while shipping lines, the ports and government agencies have provided more information on the options available to shippers and importers.

We continue to work through shipments, due to depart or arrive in the next four weeks, with those customers involved. Import deliveries and export collections are being completed where the collection or receiving address is accessible.

Mainfreight is providing container unpack services to our customers through our Container Freight Stations, (CFS), in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. We also have regional devanning services available at more than 20 Approved Transitional Facilities,(ATF) operated by Mainfreight throughout New Zealand.

Storage until your business can reopen to receive cargo is available in most locations, including at our specialist Dangerous Goods sites in Auckland and Christchurch.

Centreport in Wellington, the Port of Tauranga & Metroport, and the Ports of Auckland, remain the only ports to have confirmed reductions or waiver of demurrage charges for containers unable to be uplifted within the standard 3 days of free time on port.

Among the shipping lines servicing New Zealand, ANL/CMA and Ocean Network Express (One) have joined Maersk, Hamburg, PIL and OOCL in confirming an extension to detention-free periods for containers impacted by the COVID-19 measures in April.


Our teams in Mainfreight Transport, Air & Ocean, and our Warehousing branches across Australia remain operational. Recently announced state restrictions have resulted in a gradual closure of retail outlets and some businesses.

Our Mainfreight, Owens and Chemcouriers transport teams remain able to complete deliveries and collections between states and locally, whilst following all recommended COVID-19 guidelines.


The Mainfreight team in our 14 branches across China report gathering pace around commercial activity with production almost back to 100% and demand for import and export shipping capacity increasing.

Transport of cargo around China is operating almost without interruption, including inter-city movements.

Government imposed border restrictions have tightened as previously advised, putting pressure on inbound passenger flight services. Cargo-only services are not impacted and capacity on these freighter flights is increasing as more airlines offer re-purposed aircraft for charter, however rate levels to secure confirmed cargo space remain volatile.

The Mainfreight Asia teams in Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and South Korea all advise that they remain operational and open as normal. Social measures are in effect in several countries, however to date they have not impacted cargo movement.

Trade in India has been largely halted as ports, airports, government border agencies, and transport providers are included in the lock down currently in place.


Throughout Europe, the situation remains very similar to that reported in Monday's update.

The Mainfreight team in Madrid, Spain reports similar restrictions being introduced to those in effect in Italy. Non-essential businesses are largely closed, with demand reducing dramatically as a result. Ports, airports and logistics providers remain operational, with our team working to the same capacity as last week.

As previously advised, Russia has moved into nationwide lock down this week, with our team now 100% operational from remote locations. Ports and other supply chain infrastructure at this time remain operational.

Across the 11 countries we operate in throughout Europe, our teams report a slowing in commercial activity consistent with government measures in effect.

Mainfreight's European road transport teams continue to operate with only minor delays at border crossings.

Our European road transport teams continue to operate with only minor delays at road borders. For a live update on waiting times being experienced by our drivers at European borders, please click here.

The Americas

The Mainfreight team through North and South America report that efforts to contain COVID-19 are becoming more apparent. In the USA, positive tests have surpassed 150,000, resulting in the US Government extending the 'stay at home' order until April 30th across the country. The borders between the USA, Mexico, and Canada have closed to non-residents, although cargo continues to move freely.

All of our branches across the Americas remain open and fully functional; our warehouses are functioning as normal, and our trucks continue to deliver product to our customers and into communities.

Government imposed social health measures around the world have necessitated adjustment in the way trade is facilitated, and our teams operate. We continue to see support from central governments in the regions where we have a presence, to protect the consistency of cargo movement.

Clarity is beginning to emerge around the available capacity and structure of air freight services for the next 4 weeks, and beyond. Our Mainfreight teams around the world are finding air cargo solutions, and we expect further stability in the market as freighter services come on stream.

We encourage our customers to keep talking with their local Mainfreight teams to manage freight already in motion. As outlined earlier we have available infrastructure and team to assist through this period.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your local Mainfreight Air & Ocean team.