At this moment we are experiencing an overheated European transport market.   Volumes and quantities have reached a level which is considerably higher than the last 12 months, even before COVID-19.
Traditionally this period of national and international holidays with shorter weeks has always been challenging. However currently with the demand being considerably higher than normal and other factors of which some are listed below, we are facing an exceptional situation.

The graph below is showing the development for the available capacity in Europe.


Nordic countries
For these countries the volume level in spring 2021 is above of what we have seen in the last 12 to 18 months. Especially the international capacity in Denmark is under pressure due to changed cabotage regulations.

United Kingdom
The volume is on the same level as before Brexit. However, the number of days that a trailer spends on a trip has increased by several days, and in some cases/destinations even more. This is causing an imbalance in both national and international capacity. For the national transport sector there is also a shortage of drivers, which implicate that it is not only the available capacity, but also the lower efficiency due to the lack of drivers.

Germany & Benelux
Volumes are now over the same period in 2019 and significantly higher than 2020. 

Although in a lower degree, the same goes for Southern Europe.

For central Europe the volumes are seriously higher, particularly out of Poland and Czech Republic when there is a surge in the exported volumes.
In general we see an increasing congestion at loading and unloading addresses is disturbing an efficient planning of the available trucks.

For the transport companies it is very difficult to increase capacity on short term due to a Europe wide shortage of drivers. But also when new trailers are ordered, they face an extreme long lead time. Shortage of construction material and computer chips due not enable transport companies to increase their capacity on short term.

It is my expectation that, when we slowly are opening up after the lock down shops will be filling up their stocks. Once done, we will slowly will head back for normal. But the after effect of the current situation will probably last until the years end.
We will do everything in our power to limit the issues as much as possible. But as we are part of an Europe wide issue, we unfortunately will see delays happening that are outside our control.

Best regards

Max van de Grift
European Supply Chain Director