UK-Europe air charter Brexit flights begin to pick up

By Damian Brett

Air cargo demand between Europe and the UK is starting to pick up as some truckers have put the breaks on services and additional paperwork is creating hold ups.

Many had been worried that queues of trucks could form at Dover-Calais border as companies adjusted to new paperwork requirements as result of the UK leaving the European Union.

So far, queues haven’t been forming in Dover or Calais but over the last week DB Schenker and DPD stopped services to the UK because of the amount of incorrect paperwork, which is creating supply chain issues and delays.

Logistics companies have also introduced surcharges to cover extra costs.

Charter broker Air Charter Service said that the airfreight capacity it secured in case of Brexit disruption has been carrying out flights.

Group cargo director Dan Morgan-Evans said: “We saw an easing of demand in the week following the new year due to the fact that people had been preparing for the disruption of a no-deal Brexit, which never came.

“However, we have started to see an increase in demand already, with our specially secured ‘Brexit aircraft’ flying multiple times in the past week or so.

“We believe this to be a result of pressure beginning to build on supply chains dealing with the additional bureaucracy and disruption created by lockdowns — including the news of logistics firms putting a stop on truck operations.”

Last week, DB Schenker announced that it would halt its cross channel services.

It said only around 10% of the customs documents submitted for consignments that DB Schenker has been commissioned to ship have been complete and free of errors.

“DB Schenker has been forced to put a temporarily hold on the acceptance of new consignments for shipment to the UK,” it said.

“DB Schenker expects shipping volumes to increase further in January. The Logistics services providers can only process consignments quickly if the share of correct and complete customs documents also increases significantly.

“Both shipper and consignees need to ensure that compliant documents are provided.”

The company added that it is mobilising extra personnel for the Brexit Task Force.

Parcel firm DPD also paused services from the UK to Europe, including Ireland, as it claimed around 20% of shipments had incorrect or incomplete data.

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