“Because the passenger flights have been canceled due to the corona virus, everything shifts to cargo flights. Normally, a Boeing 777 passenger plane flies daily from Cairo to London which in addition to passengers, in the belly it also carries 25 tons of cargo. This has now been reduced to one Boeing 737 with repatriated passengers and 2 tons of freight, ”says Alain Tulpin of the Tulpin Group. Despite the fact that the number of passenger planes has decreased, there is about 12 freighters still arrive per week. "We receive about 4 times as many products than usual."
“Although we usually transport a lot of Egyptian product, we currently also receive many other products: asparagus from Peru, okra from Guatemala and blackberries from Mexico. Most of it goes to the United Kingdom. Despite the fact that the Corona crisis is having a lot of influence on the market, the demand for fresh fruit and vegetables is definitely not diminishing. The supply, however, has endured in several countries. In Italy and Spain, there is now a shortage of pickers, causing the oranges and peaches to fall from the trees to the ground. The situation does not look rosy in India either. In Egypt they use a curfew and, although it is more difficult, everything still works”, says Alain.
In order to continue the work in Ostend in Belgium, the forwarder has taken the necessary measures to protect the personnel. They also have no major problems with labor. "Because passenger traffic has come to a standstill, we are being helped by the people who are now out of work and additional people are being added", continues Tulpin.
"We have not had any other problems. The streams do not cease to exist, but changes direction. In Asia they are now starting to use passenger planes where they not only put the boxes in the hold, but also on the passenger seats.”
“Although our work can continue, we see that the work has become more difficult for our drivers. Fortunately there are no traffic jams, but the drivers have nowhere to go for something to eat or to go to the toilet. It is not easy for these people to work. We are grateful that we are in the food sector and that we can continue to work, but we hope that the crisis will be over very soon,” Alain concludes.
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