Air freight market update | December 2021
Global pandemic measures as well as continuing high demand have a strong impact on the air freight market. This is reflected in reduced cargo capacities due to restricted and partly suspended passenger flight connections, congested airports, handling facilities and employees.
- Review 2021
The increase in air freight demand since the beginning of the year cannot be satisfied with the current air freight capacities. Though, a slight improvement is noticeable.
All major airports worldwide have been congested resulting in huge backlog volumes and long waiting times. However, with secured premium capacities on its own weekly charter rotations between Asia, Europe and the US, as well as long-term freight allotments on regular airline services worldwide, DACHSER continued to be a reliable partner also in the second year of the pandemic.
The increased demand for consumer goods, the huge growth in e-commerce, and the procurement of medical equipment due to COVID-19 led to an increased number of individual partial and full charter transports.
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- Current Situation
Manufacturing and trading industries remain affected by congested supply chains. Therefore, the demand for air freight capacity is still increasing, in addition to the regular Peak Season during Christmas and Chinese New Year.
Due to the strict quarantine policy in Hong Kong, some airlines have cancelled their flights before Christmas. The resulting shortage of ground handling staff is causing significant service restrictions at Hong Kong Airport.
Export shipments can currently only be delivered to the terminal within 24 hours prior to estimated departure. Shipments without booking record will not be accepted. There is also an overload situation in import and delays have to be expected.
Hong Kong Airport had already announced in early December that cargo aircraft touching Omicron high-risk countries such as South Africa would not be allowed into Hong Kong until further notice. This leads to a shortage of cargo space and delays due to flight re-routings.
Frankfurt / Germany
At Frankfurt Airport, there are also still some delays in handling, especially at Frankfurt Cargo Service (FCS). Export handling has been delayed, and import handling has been subject to extended waiting times. The warehouses at all handling agents are full, especially at FCS.
Ad-hoc charter business
DACHSER is currently operating several full charter flights as part of a project transport between China and Austria. Read more about this project.
- Outlook 2022
The tense situation will remain throughout the first half of 2022, easing slightly after Chinese New Year. On the other hand, air freight capacity will increase only gradually, as belly capacity will remain low.
Due to the unpredictable course of the pandemic and a still unstable ocean freight market, leaves plenty of scope for the development of the air freight market in 2022.
- DACHSER Air Network
DACHSER is extending its own premium air freight services between Hong Kong and Europe in 2022 and beyond. With this extension, 100 additional cargo tons on weekly 747-400 freighter flights will extend the capacity on this route.
The premium freighter capacities from Asia (Hong Kong & Shanghai) to Europe and between Europe and the USA (rotation) are already an integral part of the DACHSER network for a long time now, and DACHSER is looking forward to continue providing this service to help secure customers' global supply chains.
For further details about the DACHSER Air Network capacities and the market please get in touch with your local DACHSER sales contact.