The impact of national holidays on global logistics: Exactly how can a freight forwarder help steer you through the year?

The Impact of Holidays on Logistics

As experienced freight forwarders, the smooth movement of goods across borders has been our constant goal for more than 20 years. While numerous factors influence the efficiency of cargo movement, one often underestimated factor that can significantly impact the industry is the occurrence of national holidays in different countries.

Each country has its own set of national holidays celebrated in different ways that can create hurdles for exporters and importers, who could potentially get caught out by their cargo being in the middle of a non-working holiday. In this email, we’ll explore the various ways in which national holidays affect cargo movement and explain how we at Espace can help you overcome these holiday blues.

Customs and Border Delays:

National holidays often lead to the closure of government offices, including customs and border control. This results in customs clearance delays and inspections, causing goods to be held up at ports and border crossings until work resumes. To mitigate these delays, we can support you in planning your shipments well in advance, to ensure that essential documentation is submitted and processed before the holiday season begins, thus keeping everything on track.

Route Disruptions:

Some national holidays are similar to UK bank holidays, where the majority of disruption comes from business closure, some are larger events that may involve road closures with parades which can consequently disrupt transport networks. This can bring logistical challenges, such as increaseds rates and delayed transit from taking the longer route. Freight forwarders with their vast networks will plan ahead with drivers or commit to a totally different mode of transport in order to bypass by these closures.

Labour Shortages:

During national holidays, employees in various industries of course take time off to celebrate and rest with their families. This often leads to labour shortages for some businesses. On the other hand, those that continue trading could pay double time to their staff to keep things moving which may have both cost and timing implications for you the exporter / importer. Espace will work with you to minimise any risk.

Peaks and Falls in Demand:

National holidays can result in increased consumer demand for certain goods. Industries that see such peaks during holiday seasons include hospitality, media & events. Some industries may slow down around national holidays such as manufacturers in automotive, making supply chains slower for that time of the year even in countries that don’t celebrate that holiday. In these cases, you may be faced with extra storage costs where deliveries cannot be arranged. A freight forwarder will work with you to plan well in advance to minimise any potential disruption to your supply chain.

Compliance and Documentation:

Different countries have various rules and regulations regarding the movement of goods. Espace stays up to date date with all regulations and our team work tirelessly to ensure that all your shipments meet the necessary standards – even when government offices are closed.

Navigating the challenges posed by national holidays in the world of freight forwarding is no small task. Freight forwarders have a wealth of experience in planning and know exactly how to keep things moving. Efficient freight forwarding keeps supply chains moving so that you can concentrate on the other priorities within your business.

To help you with your planning here is a list of general holidays happening around the world in 2024!

2024 Internatioanl Holidays

10 Interesting Facts You Should Know When Moving Freight Between the UK and India

India Freight Facts

Getting started exporting and importing outside of Europe is an intimidating task. Today we wanted to let you know the key India freight facts facts and what to look out for.

1. Growth in Bilateral Trade

The trade relationship between UK and India is ever flourishing. Both nations are keen to increase bilateral trade post-Brexit as India’s global economic stature grows.

2. Major Ports

India has 13 major ports with Mumbai’s JNPT or Nhava Sheva as it is more commonly known being the largest and most significant for containerised cargo.

3. Customs Documentation

The Bill of Entry is the primary document required by Customs in India. Having accurate and complete documentation significantly reduces clearance times.

4. Goods and Services Tax (GST)

Introduced in 2017, GST replaced multiple indirect taxes in India. It’s essential for UK exporters to understand its implications on goods being exported to India. GST is a value-added tax levied on most goods and services sold for domestic consumption – like a tax on the value added at each stage of production or distribution.

5. Freight Corridors

India is developing dedicated freight corridors to facilitate faster movement of goods. This will impact transit times and could offer quicker inland transport options.

Espace India Service

6. Labeling Requirements

India has specific labelling requirements – especially for food and cosmetic products. It’s crucial to be aware of these to ensure compliance and avoid shipment delays.

7. Peak Seasons

Festivals like Diwali can lead to congested ports and delayed shipments. Planning shipments outside peak seasons can of course lead to smoother transitions.

8. Restricted Items

India has a list of restricted items that need specific licenses or permits to import. Familiarising yourself with this list is vital to avoid customs issues. You can do so via the DGFT website.

9. Rail Connectivity

India has one of the largest rail networks globally. Rail can be a cost-effective mode of inland transport for any bulk cargo.

10. Bilateral Agreements

India and the UK have several bilateral agreements and trade discussions ongoing to facilitate trade, reduce tariffs, and smoothen the trade process. Keeping up to date with these will help bring you and your business competitive advantage.

BIFA Takes Control of the Brexit Bus

Yesterday, Theresa May invoked Article 50, which means the formal process of the UK leaving the EU has begun. The outcome of Brexit will have a heavy impact on the way the industry operates. Currently, the industry is filled with speculation of how things will evolve. The British International Freight Association has decided it will assist the Government in discussions on topics such as the possibilities of a free trade agreement or otherwise.

Robert Keen, Director General of the British International Freight Association (BIFA), says: “In the run-up to the UK’s eventual exit we will be working with Government to try and ensure that the movement of the UK’s visible import and export trade does not become overburdened by over complicated trade procedures.”

“Clearly there are significant areas of concern for our members, which are responsible for much of the physical movement of that trade, over the eventual outcome, including the physical infrastructure, trade arrangements and Customs practices that will be reviewed as part of the Brexit negotiations.”

“I have already gone on the record to warn about the huge number of pundits offering solutions when nobody knows what is likely to happen in reality.”

“BIFA’s focus now will be presenting the views of our members to the various government departments that we deal with, as well as working with organisations such as the Confederation of British Industry and International Chamber of Commerce to make sure that all parties negotiating the post-Brexit landscape are fully aware of the potential challenges for which they will need to find solutions.”

Having BIFA working with the government for Brexit can only be seen as a positive for the industry and it members. It is evident that BIFA has the experience and understanding of the industry which makes them the perfect advisers to the government on such matters.

The worst possible outcome for the industry would be going back 40 years before the common market to the complexity of the carnets and similarly complex documents required to navigate various European customs points. Hopefully, this can all be avoided, but in the current climate, nothing is certain.

Luckily We Have A 7 Key Points Survival Guide For Importers And Exporters



Amazon the Next Big Freight Forwarder?

Amazon Logo

People speculate Amazon is looking enter the freight industry and to be more specific become a Freight Forwarder. Amazon has conquered the online shopping industry, and now they are seeking to generate innovation and expansion. You may have heard that Amazon is now trailing drones as part of their last-mile delivery system. You might have missed a few announcements which provide evidence that Amazon could be making moves to enter into the freight industry. Amazon may be developing mobile technology so it can schedule and track truck shipments. This technology can be implemented into an Uber-like app for trucks.

What Has Made People Think this?

Amazon has a purchased around 4,000 semi-trucks and 40 cargo planes. They will spend nearly $1.5 billion on their new Air Freight Hub in Kentucky. Amazon has also recently expanded into Ocean freight they have not purchased any ships but it they have acted as a freight forwarder by helping Chinese merchants, last year they helped around 150 containers. Amazon claims that the purpose of these trucks and freight planes is to better their distribution services. Their aim is to not be reliant on companies such as DHL and UPS. However, a few people believe Amazon is just playing their cards close to their chest which is a wise move in the world of business.

With all these trucks Amazon could look to bring a freight forwarder in-house and give it an Amazon technology makeover. The freight forwarder would handle the operational side while selling excess space on Amazon trucks and planes to 3rd parties. As a result, this would trim the costs of their logistics side of the company.

The logistics industry have seen other big tech firms such as Uber looking to enter the freight sector by matching freight to available trucks. It’s not only big tech firms but firms like UPS have entered the freight forwarding industry by purchasing freight forwarding companies.

France Imposes Minimum Wage Legislation on International Drivers……

What is the Macron Law?

The law obliges all international transport companies who transit or have their drivers working in France to pay their drivers the French minimum wage of €9.76 an hour. France introduced this law on the 1st of July 2016. However, it was unclear whether the French would be able to enforce this. The EU started an infringement process in June 2016 against France. The outcome is still unclear as to whether they will be able to overrule this law.

What will the impact be?

European express market will be the most affected. With loads to/from Italy, France, Spain or Portugal, our vans have to travel through France. For example, if a driver spends 9 hours in France this could add an extra €35 to the cost of the shipment as European van drivers do not receive €9.76 an hour. As of 1st January this year, the French police have the right to stop any international driver and request documentation that proves that they are paid the French minimum wage. Hauliers have had to register their drivers online with the French Ministry of Labour and appoint a French fiscal representative.

This could also has an effect on full load rates as many Eastern European hauliers do not pay their drivers 9.76 euros per hour. If they transit France in the future, they will be obliged to pay them this hourly rate for the time spent in France.

Some European Transport Ministers met in Paris in late January to discuss the “unlevel” playing field they believe exists in Europe. They say that Eastern European hauliers have an enormous competitive advantage over most Western European countries who have minimum wage restraints in place.


We will keep you all updated on any changes.

Is China looking to take over the world?

The Rail link will allow for European freight forwarders and manufactures to deliver their goods between Europe and China for a cheaper price then using air transport and half the time as sea transport.

The China – UK Rail line is a part of China’s ‘New Silk road’ China is looking to connect the east of China to the west of Europe into one market. This covers 60 countries, 60% of GDP and 60% of the population in the world. This Market has the potential to generate $2.2 trillion in trade annually in 10 years.

The new rail link couldn’t come at a better time for Britain especially with Brexit and Theresa May announcing that the UK cannot expect to hold onto the bits of the EU which includes the single market. However, the question has to be asked will China take advantage of the UK’s vulnerability? The ‘New silk road’ will help strengthen China’s economic and political influence in Europe.