For the global relocation industry, moving shipments by air during the holiday season is always a challenge. COVID-19 has added additional barriers to moving shipments by air timely and for a reasonable price.
Airlines often view household goods and personal effects as “low priority”. During the holidays, aircraft space is at a premium and it is often difficult to get a confirmed booking for our freight.
Given that COVID-19 has forced many airlines to ground up to half their fleet, space is at an all-time premium. The grounding of passenger flights has forced freight that would normally fly as belly cargo onto already tight cargo flights. As a result, pricing has quadruple to and from certain areas of the world, and there has been an increased difficulty with getting a confirmed booking with many carriers.
Additional delays may occur due to holiday closures and staff shortages at many customs offices worldwide, creating backlogs in the clearance process.
We recommend that our customers consider taking extremely essential items with them on their person, or as excess baggage, making those items immediately available in their host country.
This type of backlog normally clears after the first of the year. However, with COVID-19 still having a major impact on travel and logistics (i.e. mass movement of vaccines), we expect to see the above complications extend well into January.