The need for supplies to remain in circulation in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak means that logistics companies like Titan Transline are in demand. This is what’s happening with air cargo, according to data from the Freight Investor Services (FIS), which claims that air cargo’s hitting record levels.
The price per kilogram rose by around 36% in early April, going up to $6.22/kg, which the FIS noted was due to the increased cargo rates from China to Europe, for delivering medical equipment, going up by 42%, up to $7.33/kg.
As the FIS has stated, rates are spiking due to the fact that the coronavirus outbreak means that medical protective equipment is in demand across the region, while, at the same time, capacity is limited due to China suspending all passenger flights to and from the country. The travel bans which were introduced in February cut down the global air cargo’s capacity by 60%, with Accenture estimating that only about 20% of the world’s passenger planes are actually still in flight.
Strategic Aviation Solutions International CEO and President Stan Wraight states that the rising rates came as no surprise, saying that, while most of the world’s goods are shipped via sea routes, emergencies, like the coronavirus pandemic, the air freight routes become even more valuable.
Aviation consultancy Hedge & Associates Principal Alan Hedge forecasts that sensitive medical cargo will be the dominant section of the air transport market for a while, as consumer demand in most of the world drops, leading to changes in the market. However, Hedge says that shippers won’t see much improvement in prices for in-demand products, not for a month or two.
The coronavirus has led to companies being forced to adapt, even in the logistics industry, with companies like Titan Transline changing up their strategies to make the most of the times. To that end, a few airlines operating in the world have opted to put their empty planes to use shipping cargo, especially on routes exiting China, which supplies most of the world’s medical equipment.
An example comes from the Swiss WorldCargo, which will operate 10 Airbus 340 passenger flights in April. These planes will travel from China to Switzerland to ship a grand total of 200 tons of medical protection equipment for medical workers, including things like medical gloves, and breathing masks.