Sterling Lexicon is committed to keeping our customers informed as we learn new information about the impacts of COVID-19 on the transportation industry. While Sterling Lexicon has implemented its pandemic response plan, our customer-facing teams remain fully operational at this time.
As major airlines continue to cancel flights or stand-down large proportions of their fleets, Sterling Lexicon expects to see significant shortages in capacity, resulting in an extension to the usual published door-to-door transit times and an increase in the cost of freight.
Some countries are experiencing customs clearance delays due to additional vigilance, mandatory inspections and staffing shortages. Shipments may incur airport storage charges as a result.
The shipping industry is experiencing a shortage of sea containers due to the considerable reduction in export shipments from China and the resulting displacement of equipment. Shortages are leading to delayed dispatch and the extension of the published door-to-door transit times. Costs are at present volatile and will take some time to stabilize.
Each active road movement will be assessed on its merit, taking into consideration potential border restrictions, available routings and the assignee’s travel plans. Capacity is reduced and part-load discounted options are limited.
Currently, we are experiencing cancellations, reduced capacity and rate increases across the globe due to air, ocean, road and rail delays. All planned and scheduled packing, delivery and transport services will be performed by our moving crews and third-party providers (shipping lines, airlines and logistics companies). Border restrictions currently appear to have no impact on the transport of household goods and personal effects. Any household goods transport to/from countries which have suspended the travel of certain nationalities will be discussed with our customers individually. We are only providing video surveys at this time to help with social distancing and to protect both our teams and our clients.
Planned relocation services (visa and immigration, authority visits, home search, departure service, etc.) will continue to be performed. However, given the prevailing and challenging conditions, we will assess each relocation on a case-by-case basis. Please note the below:
Authority visits (local authority and town hall)
We are currently seeing local authority offices and town halls restricting availability for personal visits, or indeed closed completely/not receiving applicants. Personal visits to these authorities without fixed appointments are discouraged and, in some cities, are not possible at all.
The situation is continually changing at both regional and local levels and we expect delays and disruptions in the treatment of applications over the coming weeks.
Home Search (temporary and permanent)
For assignees who are unable or unwilling to attend personal apartment viewings, we offer the option of local consultants attending viewings on behalf of the assignee and providing live video calls or sharing videos later via email. This option will be discussed with all parties: assignee, local consultant, HR department and the landlord/Agent. Please note that landlords may still insist on meeting an applicants in-person which will be again discussed with all parties involved.
Existing leases of long and short-term accommodations will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Sterling Lexicon will work with our customers individually to address any concerns, determine a strategy and endeavor to achieve the best outcome for all parties.
Departure Service (short notice due to current situation)
To enable assignees to repatriate at short notice, with as little disruption as possible, you may wish to consider providing Sterling Lexicon full Power of Attorney (PoA) to terminate, where possible, any relevant contracts. Please discuss with your account manager if this is a potential solution for your business.
We will continue to send out our immigration country updates as legislation changes occur. We are experiencing significant disruptions in the visa issuance process and urge travelers to check prior to booking any travel.
We’re doing our best to gather as much as information as possible and will continue to provide you with detailed updates. Our plan continues to be to maintain normal working procedures to the largest extent possible, without compromising in any way the safety and well-being of all involved. Our moving consultants, relocation consultants and account managers will provide timely communications and consult on solutions with all parties.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.