Panalpina said it is anticipating “good growth” in demand for airfreight in its fourth quarter results, driven by China-Europe, Europe-U.S. and China-U.S. trade lanes and demand for charter services, but emphasized its 2018 end-of-year results “won’t be as strong as the previous year.”
The forwarder is emerging from a sluggish third quarter, in which its airfreight sector produced an 11 percent, year-over-year, decrease in operating profit (EBIT) to US$30.1 million. At the time, the forwarder noted that comparing growth during Q3 2018 to the same period the previous year – which was a record-setting growth period across the industry – was a factor worth taking into consideration. This will be true for forwarders and airlines across the board, as end of quarter four approaches.
“2017 was really an exceptional year with a market growth of 10 percent,” Lucas Kuehner, global head of airfreight at Panalpina said said. “We estimate airfreight market growth for 2018 to come in at 3 to 4 percent, which, in absolute numbers, still signifies good growth.”
“The disciplined capacity management gave the carriers room to play in the spot market in anticipation of higher rates and potentially more attractive ad hoc charters during peak season,” Kuehner continued. “As a result, capacity has been scarce on selected trade lanes. The few freighters that were delivered in 2018 mostly went to the integrators, adding to the capacity crunch.”
Yesterday, the forwarder completed the third charter service to New York (JFK) in a month for one fashion-industry customer, using its 747-8F, which it calls “the Spirit of Panalpina.”
The increase in these flights also helped Panalpina tally its one-millionth tonne of airfreight transported in the 2018 calendar year. The forwarder added that its ACMI lease of the same kind of aircraft with Atlas, “the backbone and star” of the Panalpina charter network, has remained popular among clients over the year.