As we are sure you’re aware, the situation in the UK regarding COVID-19 is still ever-changing. As we move into the “new normal”, IFE are doing everything possible to keep our clients informed with the most accurate and up to date information as and when we receive this. 

We are aware that there are still many questions and concerns regarding how this situation may impact shipments. We have updated this page to collate the most common queries in hopes that this is helpful for all our clients during this period. Our staff are only now partially in the office, so the main switchboard may sometimes be closed—therefore we ask you to kindly still contact staff directly via their direct dials or email addresses for any assistance.


The Department for Transport have confirmed it “essential that the work of the logistics sector should continue to the greatest extend possible through the Covid-19 crisis”. Throughout this time, workers have been adhering to the Public Health England guidelines taking all necessary precautions, as all logistics professionals are required to continue business as usual to keep supplies moving. This applies for all supply chains and not only those for medical supplies and food. 

Haulier operations are still running as usual just like at the start of lockdown in order to keep supply chain moving. It is worth noting that the hauliers are still not offering any reduction or extension on agreed container unloading times.

Are the UK ports still open?

The Ports are still open, however, still working at a slightly lower capacity with strained workforce due to social distancing and deep cleaning processes. This may affect the turnaround of container collections and result in some slight delays. You will of course be advised by our team if any of your shipments with IFE are affected. The Ports are still taking every precaution possible to ensure they remain fully operational. You will of course still be quickly notified if this changes, however, you may find the below links useful for updates:


Am I still able to make bookings / are ships back to regular scheduling?

Yes—we are here to assist with any shipments ready to move by whichever means required. We would advise clients where possible to let us know of new shipments in advance, there are still a number of blank sailings even as demand is increasing. The Bookings team are available as usual to assist with your shipment requirements, deadlines and timescales. We offer a number of services from any part of the world including sea freight—FCL and LCL’s including our own consol boxes from various China and India main ports, air, road and rail freight and fulfilment and e-commerce solutions. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with the team if we can assist with any freight movements. 

How about air freight?

Yes – more and more carriers are introducing their services back, in line with passenger and cargo demand. Generally, rates are beginning to soften other than on real key routes where demand is still far greater than the capacity. Our Head of Airfreight is on hand to talk through any requirements that you have. Please contact Chris Darbin directly on  –

Alternatively, suspension or delays in transit options are still available for any clients hesitant on moving freight or needing to offload and hold cargo for further re-connection. This option could help to still allow business continuity and increase flexibility. We are happy to help if you would like any further information on this service.


What will happen with original documentation?

Although we plan to return to offices very soon, we still request clients who are sending original documentation to also send us a clear photograph of the front and back of the document/s, along with the tracking reference.

We hope all of this collated information is helpful and provides you with some clarity in these uncertain times. Please check back on our socials and blog page for more updates in the coming weeks. If you do have any further enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact your Account or Sales Manager.


What precautions are IFE taking during this time period?

We are still strictly adhering to the UK Government’s advice in regards to the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff, clients and associates. All staff have been working from home with full remote access during this period, and we have now successfully implemented all of the necessary precautions in our office spaces for a safe part-time return from August, whilst still monitoring Government advice.

How can I reach you? 

Our daily service is still uninterrupted. Whilst we do plan to return to the offices full time as soon as we can, we do kindly request that you still contact us via direct dials and email rather than the main switchboard for the time being. The majority of our clients are now reaping the benefits of our Smart Portal now more than ever. The Portal offers many collated services including real time tracking of shipments, the ability to upload clearance documents, direct contact with the team, and marking shipments as urgent if required. If you would like any more information on this, please contact our Commercial team or your Account manager. Alternatively, for more information, please visit the below link:


Our smart logistics portal makes transparent the complex process of customs clearance, transfers between sea, road and rail, and all other physical, procedural and bureaucratic hold-ups. The smart portal ensures paperwork keeps up with the goods and the goods are delivered as swiftly as possible.

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If you have any questions regarding our Smart Portal please do not hesitate to contact our dedicated team:

T: +44 (0) 1268 286999 E: