Whilst earlier epidemics this century, such as SARS, did not spread widely in the West, Coronavirus or Covid-19, developed into the global pandemic which many people had long feared. Economies around the world became paralyzed due to government lockdown directives and health services in many countries were overwhelmed.

The performance of the transport and logistics industry under such circumstances proved to be remarkably robust although some sectors, such as air cargo, had to overcome overwhelming challenges.

Overall, the Coronavirus has had a highly complex and nuanced effect on supply chains, industry and economies which was impossible to predict, not least due to its impact at different times on different stages of supply chains. Bottlenecks appeared throughout the world as first supply was disrupted in Asia and then demand in Europe and North America.

The individual micro-dynamics of air, road and sea freight markets, as well as external governmental factors, such as regulations and border controls, also led to a mismatch in supply and demand.