With 500 employees and offices in nine different countries across Europe, NTEX is constantly operating under a myriad of laws and regulations. The current corona pandemic gave birth to new and swift directives and preconditions, while also differing between markets. With a close eye on the development, NTEX has adapted and taken measures to secure operations and continue providing the best possible services, also during these challenging times.
Large parts of the transport sector, including NTEX’s, have been affected by the consequences of Covid-19. In Sweden, the transport sector has been identified as one of twelve crucial and socially important industries, and the restrictions towards the sector has been fairly “easy”. Nevertheless, the pandemic has resulted in declining volumes for sea and air but is now slowly increasing again.
– It is a large advantage for both customers and employees, that NTEX has such diversified product portfolio and offers several solutions. No matter if it is by air, sea, rail or road we always find a solution, says Allan Nielsen, Director Air & Sea at NTEX.
In Sweden’s neighboring country Norway, freight transports have been granted an exception from the entry ban and quarantine rules. In addition to cross-border transports NTEX also carries out a lot of third part logistics in Norway – a solution which during recent months has increased almost 55 percent compared to the same period last year. This mainly due to e-commerce clients who have experienced a large increase in activity during corona.
– NTEX’s size and financial muscles is a great advantage for our customers during this extraordinary time. But equally important is our ability to be flexible and to quickly adapt to the new situation and keep the activity going for our customers, says Andreas Hoel Nikolic, Managing Director, Norway.
England is historically one of NTEX’s largest markets, with four offices in London, Bristol, Immingham and Glasgow. Industry volumes has dropped 20-30 percent in general, but with a wide range of customers the impact on NTEX volumes has been less significant than in many other markets. And in mid-May, UK authorities lifted some of the lockdown restrictions to enable the economy to recover.
– I do believe that NTEX core values and how we operate gives our customers trust in services. When there is uncertainty in the market the customers choose the suppliers that they trust. We have seen this over the past few months even more, says Steve Davis, Managing director, NTEX in UK.
In Central-Europe, Baltics and Russia, restrictions on the markets have been more or less the same as the rest of Europe, with closed schools, public buildings, factories and their sub-contractors. As a result, freight volumes decreased and some operational measures were needed.
– But even then, we were able to maintain our level of service. In the beginning the biggest challenge was unexpected closure of the borders in transit countries, causing huge ques and delays. But with our presence in a number of European countries, through our own establishments and through our trusted partners, we have been able to get good and reliable information on a daily basis, on which we could react quickly to keep our traffics running, says Mirza Sabanovic, Business Unit Manager, Central Europe, Baltics and Russia.
Italy and France have been the countries where the volume drop has been most noticeable in NTEX operations. For some time, production in these countries were completely shut down or run at very limited capacity.
– Nevertheless, NTEX has been able to offer transport solutions to our customers during this entire period. Also, since the beginning of May we have seen a recovery in volumes and clear signals that companies outside Europe are opening up. The upward trend is clear which is obviously very positive, says Carl-Johan Follin, Business Unit Manager, Western Europe.
No one knows exactly what will happen but at present, with more countries are opening up their borders and easing restrictions, we do foresee a general increase on production and transport volumes overall. And of course, NTEX will continue to follow the development closely and deliver the best possible freight transport solutions.