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Air cargo expects short, heavy peak season starting this month

2014-10-27 11:37:31 ShippingRen shippingren.com Click:

TOP air cargo executives expect a short, heavy peak season with demand expected to pick up in the second half of October while charters are still subdued.

Cathay Pacific cargo chief James Woodrow welcomed news that DHL Global Forwarding', the world's biggest air forwarder, had decided to reserve blocks of space, reported Lloyd's Loading List.

"It is certainly good news for the whole industry that the global market leader is seeing increasing volumes and we have a more balanced supply and demand environment," said Mr Woodrow.

Looking ahead to falling fuel prices, Mr Woodrow said rates and volumes ex-Hong Kong to the major long-haul markets are increasing and that Cathay is looking forward to a good peak season.

In response to tightening capacity and rising prices to and from Asia Pacific, DHL is securing blocked-space agreements from regularly scheduled airlines on a long term basis.

Said AirBridgeCargo vice president Robert van de Weg: "We do expect a relatively robust peak season. However, like last year, it will likely turn out to be short and heavy between mid-October and mid-December.

"For charter flights we believe many customers are still applying a wait and see approach and going with the flow largely explained by that fact that the market has been so volatile over the last few years," he said.

Anticipated projects and product launches likely to boost the market include the latest Apple iPad launch from Chengdu.

"For the rest, we expect a general pre-Christmas rush from the major technology producers in China," said Mr van de Weg.

Said Lufthansa Cargo CEO Peter Gerber: "In China we have seen some developments where customers were keen to secure capacity for the Christmas business already in summer."

But he added: "Our focus lies on profitable flights and we do not buy market share for the price of profitability.

Thanks to this strategy, Lufthansa Cargo has been one of the very few cargo airlines worldwide with continuous profits."While "cautiously optimistic, Mr Gerber noted that overall demand for charter flights remained "rather low, as we see a lot of line capacity in the market."

Lufthansa Cargo maintained a "stable" load factor of 69 per cent in the first nine months of 2014, although freight and mail carried by the company showed a year-on-year 3.2 per cent decline.

Said DHL Global Forwarding CEO Roger Crook: "As global trade picks up - fuelled by spiking demands in technology - DHL is seeing customer volumes increase on many trade lanes, especially in Asia Pacific."

Mr crook saw a general rise in rates as "virtually unavoidable" with capacity tightening and demand rising.

The UN International Air Transport Association (IATA) said carriers in all regions reported an expansion in volumes.

And preliminary data published yesterday by Airports Council International (ACI) indicates that global air freight volumes increased by 5.8 per cent year on year, in August, continuing the recovery trend of the last 12 months, in which accumulated volumes rose 3.6 per cent.

Although some weakness remains in domestic air freight markets, said the Airports Council International (ACI), international air freight volumes rose 7.5 per cent, which tracks with the expansion of international trade.

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