Date: 07.05.2020

No sign of China air boom busting

With the UK’s hospitals and care workers just beginning to receive their much-need PPE and medical equipment supplies, we are likely to see the current air freight demand persist for several months, possibly into quarter three, as hospital demand diminishes and requirement for civilian use of the UK population (67 million) increases, as the lockdown eases.

Industry experts have highlighted four reasons why the current air freight demand from China will continue:

  • Hospitals, care-homes and essential worker PPE stock are still diminished
  • PPE is single use, or limited lifespan, requiring continuous replacement
  • Supplies for public use will need to be available to support lockdown easing
”Metro’s award winning airfreight products continue to deliver a reliable and consistent service”

The market is already changing to reflect available capacity, with a move away from freighters, that are largely booked weeks in advance, to the newly converted PAX cargo carriers, with shipments carried in belly-holds and cabins.

Shippers can select from a number of wide-body aircraft including B777-200s, B777-300s, A330s, and A340s, which offer on average 200 m3, while smaller aircraft like A321s and A320s are also well-suited and cost-effective with 110 m3 of space for PPE and essential medical cargo which is generally volumetric.

Congestion had been anticipated over the Labour day holidays, particularly with new export controls Chinese airports are now experiencing congestion, possibly due to a limited number of staff and vast amounts of freight to handle.

While the rocketing air freight rates have been widely reported, they are plateauing, albeit at the highest rates and it must be noted that the additional PAX volume has exerted no downward pressure, suggesting this may we a wide plateau.

It is reported and anticipated that the airfreight market will continue to be extremely busy well into quarter 3 of this year. Metro’s award winning airfreight products continue to deliver a reliable and consistent service to our customers.