Symphony Forwarding’s Covid-19 Update

janine hammond symphony forwarding
Janine Hammond

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has been dynamic and intense for all of us in the past weeks.

We have been asking questions which would have seemed unthinkable just a few weeks ago.

Every customer I’ve spoken with is looking for answers to some of these and many more questions.

How can I best protect my family and colleagues? How do I keep my business running and productive? How can I work while I home/on-line school my children?

As freight forwarding and logistics continue to operate globally, albeit with many a challenge, Symphony Forwarding SA, have implemented work-from-home policies to limit our employees’ exposure.

It has been crucial to do this without compromising the ability to remain connected, productive, and work securely – as appears is the case in most countries around the world.

The dramatic cuts in capacity since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, with countless sailings blanked and flights grounded, often at short notice or even after the fact, are the cause of many a frustrated freight forwarder, importer and exporter. Despite the consequential drop in volume, blanked sailings resulted in utilisation remaining high on the vessels in operation.

A huge demand for space on aircrafts that are now slowly introducing flights come at premium rates previously unheard of.  We have seen a surge in charter flights during this time as well.

We recognize that extended lockdowns, temporary (and sadly many permanent) company closures worldwide, are creating logistical challenges.

We are here to help you with all your logistical requirements. While we remain dedicated to the safety of our colleagues in these times, we are working hard to deliver suitable solutions for your goods in the most cost-effective and time sensitive manner.

In these unprecedented times – whilst every effort is made to ensure the timely movement of your cargo happens, there are still factors beyond our control that may negatively affect a seemingly solid booking. 

We have started seeing numerous roll overs, delays in Singapore, bad weather delaying feeder vessel reaching the mother vessel connections in time, blanked sailings and quarantined vessels, to mention but a few.

Turnaround times are often compromised as a result of remote working, and therefore we would like to encourage the use of Express Bills of Lading where possible and/or that you request your suppliers to Telex Release documents through our international agent office.

The situation we’re all dealing with will have a lasting effect on the way we connect with each other and get things done going forward, this should not hinder us connecting with you.

At present we are engaging in face-to-face meetings via the Zoom platform until such times as we can move around more freely.

We remain at your disposal and thank you for your continued support – it is very much appreciated.

Janine and the Symphony Forwarding Team