Following a record-breaking year in demand for air freight, the industry is at the edge of its seat as peak season approaches, bracing for an expected slow-down in growth rates that experts continue to warn of, but has yet to materialize.
Carriers and market researches have released mixed results in terms of growth rates during July in the trans-Pacific trade lane. Yesterday, IATA reported that freight tonne kilometers (FTKs) moved in July in the Asia-Pacific region only increased 0.5 percent, year-over-year, while the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines said carriers saw a 5 percent growth in volume.
Normally, the peak season starts with a demand increase that boosts load factors and tightens capacity, resulting in raised shipping rates. This year, carriers say that capacity hass already been tight before the peak, which is bad news for both shippers and carriers.
The anticipation is intensified by reshaping trade relations between the United States and China, and now intercontinental North America. These effects have yet to penetrate the supply chain, but they are predicted to lead to increased costs of business for those involved in cross-border trade.
This week, Air Cargo World talked to five executives at carriers, forwarders and logistics companies to gauge what they are expecting in terms of demand as the peak season approaches in a market that’s next turn is anyone’s guess. To find out what industry leaders are predicting, read on.