The refugee crisis in Europe has triggered road haulage price rises, making air freight a more realistic option for those trading within the Schengen zone. Importers here who buy products from European suppliers are likely to experience shipment delays and increased costs.
With some borders in the EU/Schengen area closed or with increased checks, backlogs of trucks and other congestion has affected countries including Germany, Austria, Hungary, Serbia and Croatia. Logistics companies have now started consolidating cargo at hub airports on larger aircraft to reduce the overall cost to clients.
The influx of tens of thousands of immigrants is resulting in an increased cost of logistics to the industry. These additional expenses mean companies may start charging waiting costs for every additional hour of delay due to border checks. The Dutch association for transport and logistics has estimated that if controls were to be established across all Schengen borders, adding to a one-hour delay, the costs for Dutch carriers alone would be EUR600 million a year.
In related news, Approximately 15,000 camp beds have arrived in Frankfurt, Germany flown in by Lufthansa Cargo in partnership with the German Red Cross for use by refugees. The beds were provided by the Canadian and the American Red Cross at cost. Lufthansa CEO Peter Gerber said the airline was happy to make a small contribution to the work of the German Red Cross.