Although London will be the main venue for most Olympic events, several other major cities will also be involved in hosting events. This means that global logistics – air, rail, and vehicle traffic routes – will be impacted all over northern Europe through to mid-August. The British government is also imposing restrictions on air and vehicle traffic routes during this time, further delaying material deliveries and shipments in these regions. Travelers seeking alternative routes to avoid congested areas will increase the traffic flow at other major air hubs, including Madrid, Frankfurt, Dublin, Paris, and Amsterdam. Finished goods orders originating in the United States may see delays resulting from global logistics difficulties in these same areas during the July-August time frame.
The Olympic Torch Relay is currently underway and will touch many parts of the United Kingdom as it winds its way to London. Traffic impacts in those areas immediately surrounding the relay event may be felt in the form of road closures and delays, with the major impacts coming in the week before the opening ceremonies as the torch travels into more heavily populated districts. The early impact of this event will be slight, but could still cause localized delays of cargo movement, which may affect an overall delivery schedule.
Global logistics will most dramatically be affected when rules governing restricted airspace go into effect in London on July 14. Air traffic to and from Manchester, Gatwick, and Heathrow airports will be slowed, and other northern European air hubs will be impacted as freight carriers seek alternative routes for their cargo to bypass the London air restrictions. Businesses should anticipate major delays of freight entering and exiting the area during this month-long period.
Businesses that have just-in-time delivery requirements should start now to make arrangements for early shipments, alternate routing, and delivery easements as the global logistics picture in this area intensifies. Having an alternative plan in place may be the difference between earning and losing business in the future.
*NEI offers comprehensive global logistics services and trade compliance expertise to ensure that our customers’ products reach their destination without delay. We continue to watch and plan for any logistics network impacts and constraints, advise our customers and continue dialog with carriers serving the areas affected. If your company needs additional assistance, please contact us at (877) 792-9099.*