#4: The rise of Southeast Asia
Southeast Asian airports are among the fastest growing in the world, with production of various goods shifting into the region, due to rising costs of manufacturing in China, and concerns related to volatile trade relations between the United States and China. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) economic ministers also signed an agreement to support the facilitation of cross-border e-commerce between ASEAN members in November 2018.
Turkish Cargo is increasing its presence in the region with the launch of new freighter services. Meanwhile, airports in the surrounding region – including Incheon (ICN), Singapore Changi (SIN), Hong Kong International (HKG), and Taiwan Taoyuan (TPE) – are helping national carriers expand air rights with ASEAN countries, and encouraging operators to increase flights south, some providing special incentive programs to attract more flights.
“This will definitely reduce our original cargo export to China, even though it may increase some transfer cargo traffic in Taiwan from ASEAN,” said Jimmy Liu, senior manager of cargo operations at TPE.
Executives from logistics companies, including APEX Logistics and SEKO Logistics, agree that Southeast Asia is a rising hotspot, but warn the industry to approach with caution, saying that they are concerned about the bandwidth the region can provide for freighter operations if the countries do not sufficiently develop their infrastructure and policies.