In the previous article we discussed the most popular form of intra-European transport - truck deliveries. Now the time has come to talk about the third and fastest “whale” of logistics modes, air transport.
How easy is it to move cargo across the sky? What turbulence pockets await air freight expeditors in 2019? Karol Baranchuk, AsstrA Assistant Director of Operations for Groupage and Air Freight, has the answers.
- Karol, how do you assess the 2019 air freight market?
This year, European air travel volume is down as a result of the situation in Germany and France, the EU’s biggest economic drivers. A representative of the largest European airport attributed this air freight market performance to “weak world trade results and a late Easter.”
The “high base effect” could also be blamed for these weak half-year results. It is difficult to repeat last year’s bright results. Even so, there was still a decline of 0.6% vs. the results of 2017. If we look at reports on German exports, lower demand for German goods is hurting our Western neighbors. This in turn restrains GDP growth and of course affects European air cargo volumes. Nevertheless, logistics industry experts expect conditions to smooth out by the end of this year.
Equally negative performance was recorded in the APAC air transport sector for both domestic and international traffic. This is due primarily to the ongoing trade war between China and the United States. Air freight market indicators for this region showed a decrease of 5.5% in Q1 2019.
- Air freight is considered a “luxury" delivery option. Who chooses such an option?
Customers for whom time and safety are not just important but a top priority. Air delivery is a go-to logistics option for automotive, aerospace, and hi-tech manufacturers due to the high cost and unique features of their goods. Of course, air transport is often one component of multimodal delivery schemes. For the first and last mile the cargo usually travels by truck, but air transport makes up the biggest part of the trade lane. Air transport is also popular with pharmaceutical companies.
- Where is AsstrA actively looking to boost its air transport business?
AsstrA’s top 10 air freight trade lanes from Europe are to the USA, Canada, Latin America, and China.
In the short term, AsstrA will focus on increasing exports from Poland, Italy, and Russia. As for imports, China-Europe and China-Russia remain key trade lanes. To protect customers in these areas even during the Christmas / New Year peak season, the AsstrA team uses a special Block Space Agreement tool. Thus AsstrA clients can be sure to have available cargo space on planes regardless of market conditions. Our customers do not have to worry about “hopping onto the last wagon” every year to get their goods delivered in the high season. For total peace of mind they can book this space up to six months in advance with us.