Moving and relocation firms in Israel are among the many that have been impacted by rising tensions in the country in the wake of the Hamas attacks on October 7.
According to FIDI Affiliates operating in and out of the country, increasing hostilities have brought about disruption to air and sea transport, day-to-day business operations, and continue to cause uncertainty to civilians across the region.
Elad Gur-Arie, Customs Clearance Manager at Sonigo International Shipping, said: In general, logistics operations are still permitted – subject to caution – but the lack of carriers in and out of Israel are limiting capacity on one side and increasing freight charges on the other.’
While shipping lines are still serving the country, security issues have been reported for vessels arriving into Ashdod port near Jerusalem, with most shippers now preferring to discharge cargoes at Haifa in the north of Israel. Rerouting ships and lower space availability have added time and cost, while insurance rates have increased, with ‘war-risk premiums’ also added by many shipping lines.
Most overseas airlines stopped flights to Tel Aviv immediately after the first Hamas attacks and are now operating reduced services. Local operator El Al is continuing services, but freight operators have reported congestion at the airport due to the ongoing lack of capacity.
Widespread restrictions on daily life in Israel are ongoing, with limits on the number of people permitted to gather in one place, schools and leisure facilities closed, and various regions affected by rocket attacks at different times. Many offices are also closed.
Ilan Rebibo, CEO of A. Univers Transit, said: ‘Our company is striving to maintain services, albeit with limitations. Some of our staff have been called to military service, while others are working remotely from home.’
Suren Shahnazarian, Export/Import Manager at Teamnet Ltd, advised customers to check regularly on developments. ‘We are doing our best to help customers who wish to leave or return to Israel, and we are analysing shipments on a case-by-case basis –depending on final address,’ he said. ‘There are developments daily so I recommend our overseas colleagues and partners check with us regularly.’
Daniel Drenger, VP of Marketing & Client Development at Ocean Relocation, said in an update: ‘Ocean Relocation is continuously working to ensure we support the expat and local community in Israel as much as possible during these challenging times. We are assisting our clients with much needed support in moving their goods and pets, storage, evacuating, finding new and temporary accommodation, or seeking immigration support.’
Ofer Grinberg, Manager at Globus Relocation, said the company has been supporting displaced people and the army.
‘Globus, along with many other companies, has been supporting the community and our soldiers as much as we can. We have trucks and crews collecting donations and supplies to deliver them to evacuees and soldiers,’ he said. He added that parts of the company deal with the Israeli department of defence and as such are classified as essential operations, without restrictions. The company provided trucks for the visit of US President Joe Biden – see picture.