We would like to update you further on the current and quickly developing situation, regarding moving cargo around the world, and to update you on our own contingency plans during this difficult period.
Our Continued Response
Our new measures of split working, 50/50 week on/week off are in effect and, whilst it’s a new challenge for our team, they are working incredibly hard to ensure we function normally.
After placing SFS Facility in ‘lock down’ one week ago, we continue to operate as normal.
We kindly remind everyone that ALL drivers and visitors are guided to report to Warehouse G doors where there is a door bell for access, and the front doors have a sign with our telephone number in order to contact the main office. Please ask you drivers to respect our rule for personal contact and understand they are not allowed into the warehouse, or to use our facilities. These are difficult times but we must all play our part to help restrict the spread of this virus.
Our drivers (and all members of staff) are equipped with hand sanitizer, anti-bacterial wipes and tissues. Drivers also have surgical gloves to minimise contact. We have instructed our drivers to restrict, where possible, personal contact when collecting or delivering your cargo. We would ask your assistance in this regard, in order to protect everyone, and they may now call your office to announce their arrival, instead of walking into the premises.
NOTE: We have instructed our warehouse staff not to handle or sign any tablets or screens at this time, or make personal contact with clipboards etc. They will provide the delivery driver with their name. We also will request our own drivers are not asked to handle any tablets or screens when collecting or delivering at your premises.
Contingency Planning; NEW WORKING ARRANGEMENTS
Further to our update on Monday 23rd, our split working arrangements have been largely successful, however we would ask everyone to understand that we are essentially on the frontline, and each shipment or quotation is taking considerably longer to produce, thanks to the hugely complex nature of this current situation.
Our teams are split 50/50 working – one week on – one week off, in an effort to reduce cross contamination. We have restructured our working environment to ensure minimum distance is observed, and split use of toilets and kitchen facilities, whilst also ensuring we further protect our warehouse team and our drivers.
We have implemented new technology for warehouse/office/transport communication also, to help facilitate efficient communication and functionality between teams, but with reduced physical contact.
But our office is still functioning, our teams continue to be on the front line and we’re busy helping the world continue to move cargo, including important medical supplies and equipment needed around the world, and here in the UK.
Please just bear with us at times if our response times are slow.
The World is Still Moving
ALL cargo routes remain open.
This includes airfreight to and from the USA, road freight across Europe and Ocean Freight to/from China and across Asia. There are;
- International /UK Courier – ALL services remain in operation, but rather sadly we are now facing the implementation of an Emergency Situation Surcharge (ESS) as of 1st April. This is not an SFS surcharge. But it would appear that many tariffs are temporarily suspended, so therefore we must begin to quote on a per shipment basis to be sure of the correct charge at time of shipment. Our online tariff is offline for the time being as we encourage your teams to email email@example.com or call us on 02380 860999 (please remember we have limited staff in the building so we encourage email communication)
- DHL and FedEx are operating as normal, but those and our other wholesale services across the world may experience some short delays and restrictions on POD’s
- For Urgent European shipments we have an extensive network of dedicated vehicles that can deliver into Europe next day (or perhaps two days depending on the distance). Please let us know ANY requirements you have, large or small.
- Some continuing delays on standard European road deliveries and POD’s may not have a signature due to reduced personal contact at delivery points. This is an ongoing and developing situation
- Ocean Freight space issues for special equipment (such as reefer containers) and on some routes, but we can make bookings for containers daily. We are seeing more blank sailings so capacity may reduce in the short term. Some areas have more space available than others, so we would encourage you to discuss with our ocean export team by calling 02380 860999 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your requirements
- Air freight continues! Our air department remains extremely busy – we have continued to make bookings to all corners of the world. Many cargo only options exist where passenger aircraft have reduced capacity, and although freight rates are high, our team are finding unique ways to move your urgent cargo. This week Emirates also reduce capacity to almost zero, however we still have a large global network of freighter only aircraft at our fingertips. Again, please contact our team on 02380860999 or email email@example.com
We are fighting as a team to continue operating under these exceptional circumstances. Whilst the incredible emergency services of this country keep working in the background to protect us, we’re also providing an emergency service to keep the world moving. Talk to us about your requirements.
We will continue to update you when more information is available. In this deeply worrying period for the world, we want to express our hope that you, your colleagues, families, friends and businesses are safe from harm. We are here to support you in any way we can and thank you for your support, as always.
Ross, Chris and the entire SFS Family