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World Cup fails to create cargo surge

By Adina Solomon on June 3, 2014

Despite earlier projections, the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Brazil has not led to a surge in air cargo.

TAM Cargo, which is part of LATAM Airlines Group and based in Campinas, Brazil, does not expect a big increase in cargo into Brazil, CEO Pablo Navarrete says. But the airline expects a 5 percent increase in domestic freight in May compared to the previous year.

“Earlier this year, we had an increase of the demand of pieces for electronic devices, especially for the TV manufactory,” Navarrete says. “Same happened in the Brazilian domestic market, where we have increased the transport of TVs to different cities in Brazil.”

But TAM is prepared for any last-minute demand, saying sports equipment and press materials may arrive in Brazil by air.

Greg Chin, Miami-Dade Aviation Department’s communications director, says so far in 2014, Brazil cargo traffic has been steady to flat at Miami International Airport.

“Our top exports to Brazil are high-tech goods, which are most likely long since sent to Brazil for World Cup preparations,” Chin says. “We don’t expect any significant increase in goods being sent to Brazil between now and World Cup.”

The World Cup runs June 12 to July 13.

Infrastructure in Brazil’s largest cities has proven a challenge for logistics professionals, but perhaps that won’t last much longer.

“Because of the World Cup, the Brazilian government finally decided to privatize the country's main airports and to open new terminals by June 2014,” says Odair Busoli Filho, Dachser’s national sales director for Brazil.

TAM Cargo sees the World Cup affecting Brazil’s airfreight industry in other ways.

“We are not seeing big impacts in the air cargo industry, but rather some particular growth in some markets,” Navarrete says. “The challenge now is to connect the entire chain of air transport services sector, and this will require all the actors to be highly aligned in order to achieve efficiencies in all fields of operation. We are working in a joint effort with the government, suppliers, airports and airlines to respond according to the strong demand of that period.”