ANA sees exports to China plunge in first quarter

Japanese carrier ANA’s airfreight traffic to China took a serious hit in the first three months of 2019, with Shinya Katanozak, president and CEO of ANA Holdings, reporting to local media that the amount of cargo dropped by 24% compared to the same period last year.

According to ANA traffic figures, ANA’s overall international cargo tonnage in January, February and March this year fell by 16.3%, 21.7% and 12.8% year-on-year, respectively. Over the second half of the Japanese financial year — from October 2018 to March 2019 — the carrier’s international cargo volume decreased by a total of 15.1% compared to the same period the year previous.

Hiroshi Sugiguchi, executive vice president of global marketing at ANA Cargo, confirmed to Air Cargo World that routes between Tokyo and Shanghai were the most affected. ANA Cargo currently operates a number of 767 freighter services from both Haneda (HND) and Narita (NRT) to Shanghai Pudong (PVG) and offers belly space on flights from HND and NRT to PVG, as well as from HND to Shanghai Hongqiao (SHA).

Products with the largest shipping declines included semiconductor products, electronic components and factory automation components, Sugiguchi said. While it is unclear how much of the drop in tonnage can be attributed to the current trade dispute between the U.S. and China, U.S.-China traffic is a major focus for ANA Cargo.

“We believe that the trade friction between the U.S. and China is still unclear and we want to carefully evaluate the situation,” Sugiguchi said. “If China’s economy continues to decline, not only will it reduce demand between China and North America, but also lead to manufacturing companies who have a production line in China moving out.”

For now, though, Sugiguchi confirmed that ANA Cargo does not foresee a major impact on its business, adding that there is no change to its plans to deploy the newly delivered 777F to Shanghai starting in July and to Chicago in October.

ANA is the 19th largest air cargo carrier in the world by FTKs, according to Air Cargo World’s Freight 50 List for 2018. In 2017, the carrier transported 4.9 billion FTKs.

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Jeff Lee

Jeff Lee is the Associate Editor of the company’s monthly newsletter, Cargo Facts, and weekly e-mail publication, Cargo Facts Update. Prior to joining the company in 2019, Jeff covered the freight industry with another publication for four-and-a-half years. He holds a Bachelor of Laws from University College London and a Master of Journalism from the University of Hong Kong.