Corona Virus Update 19.03.2020
I would like to update you all on the developing Corona Virus situation and to inform you of the plans we have put in place to continue providing our services without interruption during this unprecedented situation.
Firstly, all 4 of our business units are still fully operational – RIF Worldwide, RIF Logistics, RIF FX and RIF Europe. At all of these businesses, we have introduced home working where it is possible. For those remaining, we have made changes to office layouts and introduced new precautionary measures to protect our staff.
We have taken the decision to enforce cancellation of all face to face meetings with customers and suppliers and these instead will take place via telephone or video conference call. Thank you for understanding.
In general, the Oceanfreight sector is working as normal. Trade from Asia continues to return to normal following the mass cancellation of sailings during the peak of the outbreak in Asia. There is an increased potential for delays to shipments as staffing levels at the ports (and of driver numbers) reduce, but currently there no mass cancellations and we will continue to work hard to minimise any such delays.
The well-publicised disruption to the Aviation sector has created severe problems. Approximately 80% of cargo capacity to/from the UK is via passenger aircraft and around 65% for mainland EU. Border closures have resulted in nearly all carriers canceling the majority of their services. This has a knock-on effect on all markets as available services and space have reduced significantly and prices have risen. Cargo only aircraft are still operating and we are making use of these services on behalf of our clients, albeit with some delays and increased costs.
Our new RIF Europe division is working closely with RIF Worldwide UK offices to broaden our availability of Airfreight solutions for our customers. Currently, the UK is still part of the Customs Union and goods can move freely back and forth. We have the systems to enable export customs clearances at either point so we can ensure our clients remain compliant with current regulations.
EU Road freight
Border closures throughout the EU are still allowing freight transport, albeit with some delays at border crossings.
We have imposed further more stringent internal processes designed to limit the spread of any incidences of the virus, although no incidences have come to light as yet. These involve improved personal hygiene process, limit site access to non-staff and limit the number of people within any enclosed environments. We also have our Cleaning Contractors on standby should any additional deep cleaning be required. We remain open and it is very much business as usual – should this situation change we will, of course, alert you immediately. We hope to continue to operate as normal with minimal disruption.
FX Currency Services
Global currencies are still trading against each other with a variety of ups and downs. Our platform is still fully operational with identical capabilities in terms of the speed of sending and we remain as well placed as ever to provide market-leading exchange rates to help keep your costs down.
Everyone within the RIF Group is working flat out in difficult circumstances to do their best to serve our customers. If you have the opportunity please do take a minute to thank them (if you feel appropriate) as I know that would be very welcome and provide them with a much-needed boost.
Please don’t hesitate to contact your local RIF representative for any help, or alternatively feel free to contact directly with me – email@example.com