ACP-EU logistics – air, sea and road freight news


The situation for cargo flights coming from ACP countries remains similar to last week. Most airlines have stopped their passenger services, and freighters are basically between China and the rest of the world, transporting masks and other medical items and equipment as much as they can. There are still some alternatives available, but spaces are rapidly filled and prices are fixed on the spot, easily double the regular price.

We are seeing more limited flights from the Air France KLM Martinair group: there are some flights available between Europe and Africa, but it is complicated to get space.

It is also possible to keep in mind alternatives to direct connections to Europe. Emirates Sky Cargo updated its cargo network on 6 April and is serving Lagos, Entebbe, Nairobi and Khartoum through its hub in Dubai, with connections to major cities in central Europe. Qatar also has a few cargo flights from Entebbe, Nairobi and Djibouti to its hub in Doha, and connections to major European cities. There is cargo capacity in charters organised by CargoLux, Ethiopian and Emirates which are transporting medical devices to Africa at very high freight rates.

DHL Aviation, specialising in cargo, is using its full capacity. But demand is so high it is increasing its freight rates by 40 or 50%. The immediate consequence is that fresh produce shipped to Europe is more expensive. However, there is bad news from Brussels Airlines, which announced the postponement of its operation until 15 May.

From the Caribbean side, Virgin Atlantic has suspended all its flights to the Caribbean, including the cargo section.

Rwandair had a first cargo flight arriving in Brussels on Saturday, supposed to be once a week from Kigali.

Fedex and TNT have temporarily suspended all services to Africa.


For full schedules for Air France KLM Martinair Cargo; Quatar Airways; Emirates; and DHL, download the file here.

Air France KLM Martinair Cargo
Air France KLM Martinair Cargo has a new schedule of flights which shows a new reduction in frequencies compared with last week.

Quatar Airways
Quatar Airways is offering freight service via Qatar from the following cities in Africa: Entebbe (Uganda), Nairobi (Kenya) and Djibouti (Djibouti) with a wide range of cities in Europe, including Brussels, Liege, Luxembourg, Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Amsterdam, Prague and London.

Emirates is operating passenger freighter flights twice a week from Nairobi and Stendi Kisa (Kenya), Entebbe (Uganda) and Khartoum (Sudan); and a full freighter flight once a week from Khartoum via Dubai with connections with major airports in Europe including Brussels, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris, London, Madrid, Zurich, Milan, Vienna and Maastricht.

Temporary suspension of DHL services remains to the following destinations: Cuba, India, Guinea Bissau, Mauritius, Mayotte, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Somalia, St Eustatius and Timor Leste. The remaining destinations are still served, but with extended delivery times that can be up to 7 additional business days for Sudan, Zambia or Zimbawe. Also from 1 April there will be an emergency situation surcharge (fixed charge per shipment) as follows:

Chargeable weight (kg) Charge
Up to 2.5 No charge
2.51–30 €2.50
30.1–70 €15
70.1–300 €50
>300.1 €200

Ethiopian Cargo
Ethiopian Cargo has flights from 30 cities in Africa from its hub in Addis Ababa, Lagos, Johannesburg, Kano, Eldoret, N’djamena, Bamako, Ouagadougou, Accra, Libreville, Lomé, Enugu, Douala, Yaoundé, Brazzaville, Libreville, Kinshasa, Khartoum, Juba, Entebbe, Nairobi, Kigali, Bujumbura, Lusaka, Lilongwe, Harare, Bangui, Asmara, Mogadishu, Lubumbashi to Europe: Liège, Brussels, Zaragoza, Milan, Istanbul. 
Note: It is not clear if there are changes on itineraries due to COVID outbreak.

Not good news from the Lufthansa group as Brussels Airlines has prolonged its grounding until 15 May.

FedEx and TNT have temporarily suspended all services to and from all African countries. Detailed information is available here.


The situation of the European ports remains as normal as possible, which means they are doing all they can to keep the ports operative; this is the case for Antwerp, Rotterdam, Le Havre and Hamburg. However, Antwerp announced in a webinar last week that a large number of ships have been cancelled for the next trimester. On the other hand, figures for the transport of goods during the first trimester showed a slight increase compared to last year. The impact will be more evident in the second trimester.

The logistics company Maersk has announced a list of blank sailings due to the reduced demand currently impacting global commerce. These measures are taken in light of demand, so they assure the service but reduce the frequencies. Producers will need to adapt accordingly to fit with the new sailing plans:

Maersk also publishes the latest information available on the possibilities for exports/imports from the following ACP countries: Botswana; Côte d’Ivoire; Lesotho; Madagascar; Namibia; Swaziland; Zimbawe.


As reported last week, even if transport of goods is not directly affected, movement inside Europe remains challenging as border controls are operative in several Member States. Several countries have established strict confinement measures; therefore, it is very important to check if businesses remain open to avoid trouble with deliveries.

Sixfold provides an excellent tool to check live information on queues at EU borders.

  • Bolloré Logistics is providing a detailed country-by-country update of movement restrictions for air, sea, road and rail freight.
  • Logistics Cluster publishes detailed information by country, and includes most countries of the world.