Date: 18.02.2021

Emirates launch sea-air product ahead of demand

Key Metro partner Emirates SkyCargo and DP World have launched a sea/air product, increasing the range of services we can offer, ahead of a likely post-lockdown demand surge.

The Dubai-based companies are offering complementary sea/air services, which can expedite the transfer of containers from port to airport, accelerate cargo breakdowns and simplify paperwork in a critical hub.

With so much air freight capacity still grounded and unlikely to return for some time (see our air capacity update) sea/air is a critical solution for time-sensitive and valuable shipments. 

Metro deployed sea/air service extensively in the early stages of the UK’s coronavirus experience. Shipping millions of critical PPE pieces from south-east Asian factories via Singapore, over three months, with significant cost reductions on standard air freight and removing the need for expensive charter flights from origin.

By taking the freight directly to where the scheduled airlines were operating with capacity, Metro achieved better transits from some origins by truck/air than was possible through pure air freight options, which were saturated with governments scrambling to get urgent PPE flown.

Over the last year large volumes of garments have been transported into the UK and Europe using sea/air via Singapore and Dubai, as brands and retailers veered between slowing freight down and speeding up supplies, depending on what stage of lockdown was prevailing.

With severely constrained capacity driving air freight rates to new levels since April, sea/air options can be up to 70% lower, while transit times are attractive, due to the infrequent schedule and high demand of flights.

Business development director Grant Liddell explains. “Sea/air is the ‘halfway house’ between cost and speed of transit from Asia, with 12 days through Singapore from initial vessel departure, and 20 days through our Dubai hub, with typical savings of 70%.”

Metro is expecting an immediate and sustained economic rebound following the easing of lockdown restrictions and has prepared for greater volumes of sea/air and truck/air cargoes, as importers from Asia seek to satisfy unprecedented demand and replenish stock or new season items.

Continued sea freight disruption and oversubscribed rail services from Asia to Europe is positioning sea/air as “the perfect solution” for importers with cost-versus-transit concerns.

“With the exorbitant air freight levels from Asia, the intermodal service has become commercially even more viable and appealing to shippers that need to recover speed to market to meet demand.” Added Grant.

Metro work very closely with the world’s largest cargo airlines, Emirates SkyCargo, DP World and key hub partners to offer speedy and reliable sea/air transits at competitive rates.

If you have any questions regarding the viability of sea/air for your supply chain, would like further information, updates, or the latest market pricing please contact Grant Liddell.