HONG KONG – When it comes to growth in the airfreight business, perception is based mostly on what region you’re in and what type of cargo you carry, said Gert-Jan Jansen, managing director of market analysis firm The Seabury Group, during a session at the Asian Logistics and Maritime Conference (ALMC) on Tuesday.
In the session titled, “The Changing Landscape of Asian Air Cargo,” Jensen gave a short presentation showing the often-contradictory nature of airfreight in the era of e-commerce, where perspectives on the industry change quickly depending on the region being analyzed.
“We have seen a recovering in demand for airfreight, but is this recovery temporary or is it sustainable?” Jansen asked the attentive ALMC crowd. Demand, based on actual tonnage of general cargo carried, has been flat this year, compared with 2015, but some regions look very different. “The Pacific has not been a great place to be, but Europe has been a very good place to be” in recent months, he said. “Intra-Asia volume has also been flat.”
When divided into various types of cargo, e-commerce, Jensen said, enjoyed an 11 percent growth in volume per year for the past six years, compared to express freight, which has seen a 5 percent per year compound annual growth rate,since 2006. Meanwhile, general airfreight has bounced along the lower end of the spectrum, achieving only 0.5 percent growth over a 10-year period.
Some aspects of the industry, however, remain stable, such as the decline in yields, which have seen a “huge drop” in recent years, but have been tempered somewhat by equivalent drops in fuel prices. “Capacity is still a weak spot,” he said. “For seven of the last nine quarters, capacity in the industry has grown faster than demand. That’s a fundamental problem in the industry.”
Here is a clip of Jensen talking to the ALMC crowd about the “two different universes” of the struggling general airfreight business compared to the thriving e-commerce trade:Like This Post