SFS Covid-19 Update
Our Update on the current situation regarding the global pandemic and its effect on international trade and logistics
Airfreight SFS

Airfreight June now sees the reopening of many routes, with increased services to USA, Africa and Europe. Asia is returning to relative normality. Space availability is increasing in line with the increased capacity, and rates are now levelling out.

More passenger airline services are re-opening scheduled flights for cargo, including United Airlines, Emirates, Swiss Airlines, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. Some more gradual, however many freighter services remain as per our previous updates. Please contact our air export team
We’ll help you fly!

Ocean Freight SFS

Ocean Freight
Space issues continue globally and therefore some delays on bookings, now one to two weeks in some instances, so we urge you to provide as much notice as possible to enable forward planning.  

Rates appear to be steadily increasing, reflecting the increased demand and lack of capacity, now with the added lack of space on quayside (globally), which is continuing to create a congestion issue, as too are blank sailings. We suggest checking with your client that they can receive containers once arrived, as storage charges can be high, and it is the shipper’s ultimate responsibility to cover rent and demurrage fees on CPT Terms.

Import Operations SFS

Import Operations
Rates ex China are now reducing slightly on air, and more frequency on ocean as a result of a gradual increase in capacity, yet rates remain high. PPE equipment subject to more detailed export checks by the Chinese authorities are further creating a bottleneck scenario, and no longer to be carried on rail services. Our partners continue help mitigate delays wherever possible. We have extensive charter aircraft availability if required
On air, some import handling agents in London are adding COVID-19 surcharges on import arrivals. Pleased to note that we do NOT have any surcharge on air services routed into our Southampton ETSF facility. Please ask for routings into Southampton on our SOU service using Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic (increased origin flights from USA means we can route known cargo from the USA into our SOU facility) and many more services operating again.

Cruise & Marine Logistics SFS

Cruise & Marine Logistics
With the lack of physical holidays at this time, our cruise line supply operations have been impacted, although our port agency division continue to receive, consolidate and deliver products to marine vessels in Southampton and across the UK. We continue to offer solutions as required to a range of vessel owners, management agencies or suppliers to the marine industry. Please contact us for information.

Warehousing & Storage SFS

Warehousing / Storage
Warehousing space is available for large, small, racked, out of gauge, bonded, non-bonded, hazardous cargo, pick and pack etc. We have a WMS that can integrate with your systems for order picking and processing, and provide detailed updates on stock levels, dispatch and pricing. If your warehouse on restrictive working but you still want to ship orders, please discuss options for us to hold your stock and despatch against your instructions. Contact

International & UK Courier SFS

International & UK Courier
All services remain in operation with individual limitations. We have a list updated daily that you can view HERE , for individual country updates on our dedicated COVID page.
The Emergency Situation Surcharge (ESS) has been applicable since the 1st April from the integrators, which we have been forced to pass on. The majority of tariffs are temporarily suspended, so therefore we must quote on a per shipment basis to be sure of the correct charge at time of shipment. Our online tariff is offline for the time being as we encourage your teams to email or call us on 02380 860999 for assistance. We’re here to help.

You can also login using our New Online Platform where you can book your shipments and also track your courier shipments using the SFS awb number. If you would like access or info on this system, please ask.

International Roadfreight SFS

European Road Freight
Our European road freight connections remain in place and shipments are moving freely across borders, however a drop in demand in some areas has resulted in some delays. We would recommend discussing your requirements. We do also have an extensive dedicated vehicle network for urgent shipments, large or small. Please message our team for information 

Fake Products / Scams
UK Border Force and partner agencies have identified emerging trends involving criminal groups exploiting the current situation to ship illicit goods and legitimate shipments are also targeted to hide illicit importations of drugs and excise goods. Border Force say
“The goods include counterfeit medicines and PPE, specifically targeting the vulnerable and those at most risk during the COVID19 crisis. These goods are not fit for purpose offering little or no protection, they will cost lives if successfully imported into the UK.

Our own drivers/warehouse staff;

After placing SFS Facility in ‘lock down’ on the 16th March, we continue to operate as normal, albeit with a mix of remote and physical working.

We kindly remind everyone that ALL drivers and visitors are guided to report to Warehouse G doors where there is a door bell for access, and the front doors have a sign with our telephone number in order to contact the main office. Please ask you drivers to respect our rule for personal contact and understand they are not allowed into the warehouse, or to use our facilities. These are difficult times, but we must all play our part to help restrict the spread of this virus.

Our drivers (and all members of staff) are equipped with hand sanitizer, anti-bacterial wipes and tissues. Drivers also have surgical gloves to minimise contact. We have instructed our drivers to restrict, where possible, personal contact when collecting or delivering your cargo. We would ask your assistance in this regard, in order to protect everyone, and they may now call your office to announce their arrival, instead of walking into the premises.

NOTE: We have instructed our warehouse staff not to handle or sign any tablets or screens at this time, or make personal contact with clipboards etc. They will provide the delivery driver with their name. We also will request our own drivers are not asked to handle any tablets or screens when collecting or delivering at your premises.


Our split working arrangements continue to improve in fluency, and as services begin to adjust globally to the ‘new norm’ we are able to turn around shipments and quotations faster in many areas. However, there are still certain shipments (and quotations) that require more time.

Our COVID-19 Policy is available on our subpage. Our facility remains operational and we are considered ‘Covid Secure’, according to government guidelines.

We have implemented new technology for warehouse/office/transport communication also, to help facilitate efficient communication and functionality between teams, but with reduced physical contact, and continue to work with our IT providers to further improve efficiency and fluency of our global operation.

Whilst the incredible emergency services of this country keep working in the background to protect us, we’re also providing an emergency service to keep the world moving. Talk to us about your requirements.

We will continue to update you when more information is available. In this deeply worrying period for the world, we want to express our hope that you, your colleagues, families, friends and businesses are safe from harm. We are here to support you in any way we can and thank you for your support, as always.

Ross, Chris and the entire SFS Family

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