Export Knowhow

The Corona outbreak and its impact on logistics

How to navigate the challenging situation that  the COVID-19 outbreak has created and find the best logistics solutions to mitigate the impact on your supply chains.


DHL Global Forwarding Switzerland follows a holistic management process that enables our business units to ensure the best possible operations for our customers even in an emergency, with the help of so-called business continuity planning. We have taken various measures based on this planning. First and foremost, these include the safety of our employees, for whom we have a duty of care. However, the planning also includes our customers, for whom we maintain our processes with determination and flexibility. We have been ensuring that supply chains keep functioning. We are fully aware that this is not only important to you, but also vital for your customers.

The COVID-19 outbreak affects the various products we offer to our customers as of today, 19 March 2020, as follows:

Air Freight

Most airlines are reducing or suspending their services between Europe and all destinations worldwide. This causes severe capacity constraints as passenger planes transport most of the cargo. The situation is very fluid, with new announcements being made without any prior notice by carriers for flight cancellations.
DHL Global Forwarding Switzerland continues to work closely with its carriers and other partners to identify reliable options to transport shipments using alternative solutions such as charter flights. We are pleased to share an updated overview of the dedicated roundtrip charter capacity for multiple tradelanes. Please reach out to your account manager or customer service representative to discuss the possibilities of transporting cargo using charter flights.


Ocean freight carriers have executed a high number of blank sailings and service cancellations. These service adjustments are being made by the carriers without the usual notice periods. This creates equipment imbalances with a massive impact on the empty equipment availability across the world (i.e. reefers), and especially in Europe.
Caused by severe equipment imbalances and the significant number of blank sailings, an updated Emergency Cost Recovery Surcharge for all container types and an increased congestion surcharge for reefer equipment is implemented as of 01 April 2020.

Rail China

All DHL Rail services, including FCL and LCL service from China to Europe (Westbound) and Europe to China (Eastbound), continue normal operations. As more and more European countries introduce border controls, we expect this to cause delays in transit times.
Due to the strong demand for rail services, we see a high utilization of DHL train capacities. Particularly capacity on Westbound (China to Europe) is reaching maximum. We advise checking space availability on a case by case basis. On our Eastbound (Europe to China) trains, we see as well an increasing demand; however, capacities are generally still available.
To secure rail capacity for your shipments, we would like to encourage our customers to book capacities in advance as space is allocated on the ‘First booked – first railed’ basis.


The outbreak of the COVID-19 has a significant impact on global supply chains, forcing air freight and ocean freight carriers to cancel, reduce or otherwise adjust services and capacities in the market. Therefore, the tariffs are subject to change at any moment without the usual notice periods, all depending on equipment and capacity in the market and for a specific trade. We are fully committed to mitigate these impacts and to ensure that our customer’s interests are safeguarded to the highest degree.
DHL Global Forwarding Switzerland is carefully monitoring the fluid situation around the Coronavirus and will be providing further updates in this regard when available. Should you need further information, have any concerns or queries, please feel free to contact your account manager or customer service representative.



Webinar: Coronavirus

Is your company trading with or exporting to China? Are you unsettled by the current developments caused by the coronavirus and do not know what to prepare for and how? Then take part in our webinar and get a practical overview from China experienced companies and experts.

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