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Updates on Coronavirus

On this page, you will find our latest updates on the COVID-19 developments and their global and regional impacts on air freight, sea freight and road transportation.

Update Dec 17: changes to last update in

  • Sea Logistics: all sections

  • Air Logistics: Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa

  • Road Logistics: no updates​​​​​​​

General information

The health and safety of our customers and employees remain our top priority. All Kuehne+Nagel offices have implemented actions according to recommendations from the World Health Organisation.

As regions differ in levels of spread and consequences of COVID-19 our business continuity measures accordingly. The Kuehne+Nagel commitment to operating under COVID-19 circumstances include responsibility on management side to have sites enabling social distance, staggered work schedules, safe commuting, frequent disinfection, cleaning procedures and more.

Our staff are successfully working from home where deemed necessary by local circumstances.

In regards to risk of virus on packages and pallets we receive and deliver, we deem the risk low, following WHO statement of "The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low."

As a global logistics company, we are facing supply chain disruptions on a regular basis. We adapt continuously our global standards of business continuity management and test our Business Continuity Plans addressing different crisis scenarios.

They are designed to protect the safety and wellbeing of our employees and to ensure an uninterrupted service for our customers. In respect of the magnitude of the COVID-19 effect, we are executing new and continuous risk assessments, business impact analysis and implementing new measures into our business continuity framework based on alert levels.

All countries have established national response teams in order to either prepare for, or execute activation of these plans.

Where deemed appropriate by our national management teams and where required by governmental decrees, we activate preventive measures and processes, which include temperature control of employees and visitors (within the parameters set by locally applicable laws such as data protection laws), self-declarations, segregated/flexi work arrangements, options to work from home, the sanitisation of our offices and sites, and the provision of essential hygiene products at workplaces. Standard processes have also been defined in case of staff being infected or exposed to people who are infected.

We are sharing hygienic guidelines with our suppliers to ensure greater awareness within the supply chain. Drivers arriving for collection or delivery undergo a briefing on hygienic best practices, and where permissible, are instructed to fill out self-declarations.

We have implemented global travel restrictions and external and internal meetings are either conducted as video conferences, or only in the presence of a small number of participants observing social distancing recommendations as issued by public health authorities.

Impact on Sea Logistics

In general, the situation has become a bit more stable but we still see fluctuations. Equipment availability, available space, and blanked vessel sailings remain to have an impact on the overall situation.

Our local experts are at your full disposal to assist and support you with your specific requirements

General situation
Our sea logistics operations in the US and Canada are fully functional with no impact from COVID-19. The main CFS gateways in the US are operating normally.

Space and equipment

Port congestion / delays
Port congestion and inland transport challenges result from the current strong American market demand and the overall tense situation on the sea freight market.

Further information on the current situation in the ports can be found at​​​​​​​

General situation
There are currently no major restrictions on sea logistics operations due to COVID-19. The offices are still handling business, but with reduced staff or in home office mode.

  • In Brazil, operations are running with only minor limitations.

  • In Argentina and Uruguay truck drivers and vessel crews may be subject to enhanced screening measures. Vessel operations are normal.

  • Bolivia and Peru suspended most COVID-19 restrictions. Still, delivery from ports is impacted as bordering countries have maintained closure of their land borders.

  • In Chile, all ports are in operation, but there is some congestion.

  • Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama report normal operations.

Space and equipment
We see medium-high impacts on equipment availability - especially reefer containers.

Port congestion / delays
The ports are operational, but delays may occur in the terminals due to reduced staff, reduced attention hours and local quarantine measures.

Further information on the current situation in the ports can be found at ​​​​​​​

General situation

  • Normal operating level across all countries with no large-scale restrictions imposed solely due to COVID-19, except strict testing regime and staggered manpower in most places.

  • Gradual resumption of factory activities in Vietnam and Malaysia following prolonged lockdown in the last months.

  • We continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely in Asia and adapt accordingly to minimise disruptions

Space and equipment
Still an equipment imbalance and capacity shortage.

Port congestion / delays
Due to high demand globally – severe congestion remains the biggest issue and weak schedule reliability, which collectively puts tremendous pressure on daily operational routines. Vessels are experiencing berthing delays between 2-4 days in Singapore, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Korea – and up to 8 days in Australia.

Further information on the current situation in the ports can be found at

General situation
Europe is amid another wave of Coronavirus infections, with many countries reporting record-high infection rates and thus introducing full and partial lockdowns.

Space and equipment
Equipment, especially in the hinterland depots, remains short across Europe. Space is tight and bookings must be placed 2-6 weeks in advance.

Port congestion / delays​​​​​​​
Heavy delays of incoming vessels, as well as changes in sailing schedules on short notice, intensify container shortages.

Further information on the current situation in the ports can be found at

General situation

  • In Egypt, the economy is 100% open.

  • In Turkey, the economic activities continue undisturbed and only slight operational issues being experienced with no negative significance towards the overall performance.

  • In UAE, the operations are working normally. Volumes are picking up.

  • South Africa: As the world waits for studies that give a clear picture of the Omicron variant, early clinical data emerging from South Africa hint at a virus that may cause less severe cases of Covid-19.

Space and equipment

  • There is a shortage of equipment and space in Egypt due to Covid-19 supply chain disruptions, in addition to the shortage of power in Asia.

  • In Turkey, equipment & space issues continue to create bottlenecks again (due to the continuous hick-ups in major trading areas causing blank sailings mainly from Asia). This is the “new normal”.

  • In U.A.E., equipment shortages and booking confirmation delays are expected to continue for the coming month.

Port congestion / delays

All parties involved (including ports) continue to operate under “new normal” conditions.

Further information on the current situation in the ports can be found at​​​​​​​

Impact on Air Logistics

During this uncertain time a tailored approach to your needs and supply chain challenges remain the most critical tool. Thanks to close interaction with customers, our Air Logistics Customer Care teams can quickly evaluate supply chain challenges and develop models to react to the market’s constant changes. Our offices and teams are up and running globally, and here to solve your supply chain needs.

 Choose your region of interest below for a more detailed overview of the impact on air freight capacity, operational status and current congestions.

General situation

As the pandemic continues, vaccines have been rolled out, and travel corridors are slowly re-opening, the outlook remains uncertain. Sea congestion at ports, especially at the US West Coats, remain a big challenge and delays continue to drive additional cargo into the air freight market, which has seen record growth.


With the US allowing vaccinated foreign nationals to travel again, the industry has seen an uptick in passenger flights that are planned to be introduced into the market. Despite the announcement of increased routes and flight frequencies, belly capacity is still forecasted to fall short of pre-pandemic levels, especially in those lanes with the heaviest demand like the Transpacific therefore continuing the trend of higher than pre-pandemic market and activities.

Airport congestions/delays

Stable situation across the region.

General situation 

The frequency of international passenger flights are starting to recover with the lift of international travel bans and the vaccinations programs across the region.


The freighters are offsetting some of the capacity leveraging the perishable peak season until end of the year.

Airport congestions/delays

Stable situation across the region.​​​​​​​

General situation

Even though, Covid-19 vaccination is progressing across Asia and travel is slowly re-opening, the ongoing pandemic effect in addition to the sea freight congestion continue to impact available air capacity.


The market in Asia Pacific is still affected by the pandemic impact of the shortage of crews and aircraft around the region. At the same time, production is strong reaching historical records on export volume. This leads to high demand and capacity shortages that severely affect the origins.

Airport congestions/delays

Stable situation across Asia.​​​​​​​


General situation

As the virus continues to surge, our air freight operations in Europe are running stable. The demand for air freight on all major trade lanes is extraordinarily high.


Capacity remains constraint due to the year-end peak season even though passenger flights are returning on some markets. The challenging situation in sea logistics continues to put additional pressure on the tight capacity situation as companies across all industries are shifting from sea freight to air freight to fulfill the needs of their customers.

Airport congestions/delays

All major airports in EUR struggle to handle the high volumes. Additionally, Covid-19 is effecting the available workforce which impacts the overall handling situation negatively.​​​​​​​


General situation

The operational situation in Middle East and Africa remains stable without any interruptions.


As countries in MEA are re-opening for travel, carriers are re-instancing and increasing frequencies. QR and EK are re-converting passenger freighters back into passenger to meet the demand. Both Africa and Middle East recorded a double digit growth in flight frequencies but still below 2019 levels. Cargo capacity shortage continues to maintain the momentum of 2020 levels and higher due to lack of capacity -14% compared to 2019.

Airport congestions/delays

Stable situation across the region.

Impact on Road Logistics

We take this opportunity to thank our drivers, who are tirelessly collecting and delivering shipments under challenging conditions. We also extend our thanks to our customers and recipients of shipments who allow our drivers access to their restrooms. We truly appreciate those who go out of their way to help our drivers do a great job. By all of us working together and showing respect to each other, we jointly contribute to keeping our supply chains afloat.​​​​​​​

Like European overland markets, the Kuehne+Nagel network is facing less restrictions compared to the spring period last year. The development on an overall European scale however is still rather volatile and impacted by still existing Covid19 limitations in certain areas. This can lead to some partial reroutings and small delays in selected lanes. The current expectations for the next weeks force us to keep the following pre-conditions in place until further notice.

For any country in Europe, we still strongly ask shippers to check the availability and readiness of their customers to receive shipments during business hours, before handing shipments over to us. Shipments which cannot be delivered due to absent consignees will be returned to shippers at their cost. In case shippers are not able to receive these returned shipments, storage cost will apply.

In case of pick-up orders customers also need to ensure readiness of their pick-up addresses. If this is not given, cost of the pick-up attempts will be charged.         

Further customers need to ensure that consignee’s will confirm receipt of cargo.

Trucking services in China are back to normal. Cross-border trucking to and from Hong Kong (SAR, China) and the China/Vietnam border (Pingxiang border) is operating as per normal. Additionally, operation at the Vietnam and Laos/Cambodia border as well as domestic transportation within Vietnam are also back to normal.

For Thailand, domestic and cross-border movement for commercial and essential goods between Thailand and Myanmar/Laos/Cambodia is allowed.
All drivers need to undergo health checks.

For cross-border trucking to Central Asian countries and Europe, there is heavy congestion at China/Kazakhstan border (Horgos and Alashankou borders) due to the preventative control measures for COVID-19.

Similarly, trucking  to Europe via the China/Russia route (Manzhouli border) is also experiencing face the same issue due to the increased control measures implemented.

The Malaysian government has announced nationwide Movement Control Order (MCO) starting May 12, 2021, till June 7, 2021 Movement of goods in and out of the country must adhere to the RMCO MCO standard operating procedure. We do not see any impact on domestic and cross border transportation.

Many Indian states have imposed strict lockdowns while other states have announced restrictions on public movement. This has no impact on domestic transportation.

The situation and border control measures in most of these countries are evolving rapidly as the COVID-19 situation continues to change. We are closely monitoring the situation and will provide further updates on this page.          

US, Canada and Mexico border restrictions only impact "non-essential" travel and do not apply to the transportation of goods and services. Stay-at-home orders around the country are being lifted in some states and extended in others, however these measures are not directed at commercial truck traffic. Check with individual partners on their operation status prior to shipping because nearly all LTL carriers will be returning freight immediately (<1 day) after a refusal due to a closed consignee. Cargo cannot be held at the destination due to large volumes of undeliverable freight resulting in additional charges.

US domestic truckload capacity is tightening, but federal and state governments are committed to keeping the supply chain moving. The majority of LTL and Small package carriers will suspend physical signatures. In adherence to the “Social Distancing” policy, drivers will not be obtaining signatures from consignees. Drivers will record the exact time, note any exceptions and obtain the name of the person who is accepting the freight. As spot market truckload rates rise to highly affected areas, less drivers are willing to take loads into these areas forcing the ad hoc rates to climb. Urgent orders of retail goods drive rates up for van and reefer equipment.  Retailers, including e-commerce outlets, rely increasingly on spot market providers to re-stock shelves immediately, while truckers report long wait times at pickup and delivery points.

DISCLAIMER - All information is provided in good faith for guidance and reference purposes only. It is of a general informational nature, and Kuehne+Nagel takes no legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided via this document. Kuehne+Nagel makes no representation as to the accuracy or completeness of any of the information contained herein and accepts no liability for any loss arising from the use of the information provided.