The coronavirus has brought the soon to be most populous country in the world to a virtual standstill. In India, 1.3 billion people are under curfew until 15 April. Transportation is no longer permitted, except for essential goods. This also affects a. hartrodt India, which is based in New Delhi and has around 80 employees at eight locations throughout the country. "Our offices are closed, but three people per station work from home," says Ajay Bhatt, Managing Director at a. hartrodt India. The team can help and advise customers in India and abroad on all logistical issues at any time.
Five regional offices and three sales offices
"The 100 percent India subsidiary of a. hartrodt has been open since 2010," reports Willem van der Schalk, Regional Manager Middle East & Indian Sub-Continent. In addition to New Delhi, there are regional offices in Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai as well as sales offices in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Pune. In addition to products of the German mechanical engineering industry, the main goods include food, textiles and leather goods.
Pharmaceutical logistics continues to develop
According to van der Schalk, the demand for pharmaceutical and chemical logistics has increased in India: "In the pharmaceutical sector, production has reached a very good quality, also for protective masks. " The Pharma & Medical Supply department in New Delhi, for example, has business to East Africa. "We are involved in pharmaceutical distribution by air freight to various countries and are making every effort to maintain supply chains despite the corona crisis," says van der Schalk. In the current critical situation, a. hartrodt is "strongly positioned", also thanks to a globally standardized IT network.
Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, almost all commercial air services to and from India have been suspended. Freighters are allowed to fly, there is only limited staff available at the airports. At the twelve major Indian ports, screening and quarantine systems mean that it takes longer and may be more expensive. Millions of trucks are stranded. Some ports, including Mundra, operated by private operator Adani Ports, have declared force majeure.
a. hartrodt still handles shipments to India normally in consultation with the importer or exporter, but both have to allow for delays and additional costs due to storage charges at the ports or airports.