Global insight

Map_of_the_European_Migrant_Crisis_2015_-_Asylum_applicants'_countries_of_origin

Shippers also pay the price of terrorism

EUROPEAN shippers are facing higher transportation prices as air cargo and logistics operators offset the cost of increasing supply chain security in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris and the mass movement of migrants, writes Thelma Etim.

Global aviation security has already undergone a seismic transformation since the foiled terrorist printer cartridge bomb plot, involving a UPS aircraft at a UK airport in 2010.

Customers have become resigned to absorbing some of the multimodal costs – such as the controversial air cargo security surcharge.

But nobody could have foreseen the mass diaspora from Syria this year, or how the influx of thousands of terrified and desperate migrants to European shores would directly impact on freight movements.

Almost immediately after European nations began tightening inspections at their borders (including the Channel Tunnel between Calais, France and Dover and the United Kingdom) the widespread delays began.

The situation has been forcing operators to be more pro-active in finding alternative routes for cargo shipments.

Dutch trans-European logistics, airfreight and trucking company Jan de Rijk says it has been employing a flexible stratagem to try to cope with the ramifications of the international crisis, which has now deepened.

The outpouring of grief and disbelief over the Paris atrocity comes only weeks after a Russian airliner crashed in Egypt. Russia’s Federal Security Service has now confirmed the aircraft was destroyed by a terrorist bomb, reports say.

Sebastiaan Scholte, chief executive of Jan de Rijk, reveals: “We already adhere to the highest security standards, where we use special secure trailers with state-of-the-art alarm features, panic buttons, route fencing, electronic locks etc.”

Scholte suggests even tighter controls, including stepped up cargo screening at airports, is highly likely.

“This could again lead to longer transit times in general (on the road and in airports) – maybe more on passenger aircraft than on freighters,” he adds.

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