Air Freight and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Luchtvracht en de corona pandemie

Kelsey Schenk - Marketing Officer
Kelsey Schenk
Marketing Officer

Vorige week schreven over de impact die het coronavirus heeft op de zeevracht en de effecten die de grootste drie havens van Europa daarvan merkten. Deze week behandelen we de luchtvracht.

Toen landen over de hele wereld in lockdown gingen en grenzen werden gesloten kwam de luchtvaartindustrie piepend tot stilstand. Veel landen sloten hun luchtruim. Uitzonderingen werden gemaakt voor vliegtuigen met naar huis en essentiële goederen.

Geen passagiers, maar het vliegtuig zit vol

Bedrijven die via de lucht hun goederen probeerden te verschepen liepen tegen een uitdaging aan. In veel gevallen was het niet zozeer het krijgen van toestemming om de goederen naar een land te versturen, als wel het vinden van ruimte in een vliegtuig. Vrijwel de gehele wereldwijde vloot van passagiersvliegtuigen bleef aan de grond. De beschikbare luchtvracht capaciteit daalde daardoor met 50%. Wat veel mensen niet weten is dat bijna de helft van de luchtvracht wordt vervoerd in het ruim van passagiersvliegtuigen…

Omzetten daalden razendsnel en luchtvaartmaatschappijen gingen naarstig op zoek naar manieren om toch nog omzet te generen. In eerste instantie lieten de luchtvaartmaatschappijen passagiers vliegtuigen vliegen met lege stoelen en het ruim vol met vracht. Het duurde niet lang of er werden oplossingen gevonden om vracht te vervoeren in het gedeelte waar normaal de passagiers zaten. Al snel zagen we foto’s van vliegtuigen met zowel de stoelen als de bagageruimte boven de stoelen gevuld met dozen.

Forbes schreef hierover:

Many airlines around the world have started cargo-only flights using passenger aircraft to bolster depressed global airfreight capacity, and accommodate a spike in demand. American Airlines, for instance, last week operated its first scheduled cargo-only flight since 1984 when it retired the last of its Boeing 747 freighters. American’s cargo-only flight operated two round trips between Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and Frankfurt Airport over the course of four days, aboard 777-300 will carrying only cargo and necessary flight personnel. Other carriers launching “passenger freighter” services include U.S. majors Delta and United, Air Canada, Aeromexico, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Iberia, Korean Airlines, South America’s LATAM, Lufthansa, Qantas, Scoot, and Swiss.

Deze maatregelen zorgden er niet alleen voor dat de wereldhandel kon blijven stromen, maar het zorgde er vooral voor dat levensreddende medische apparatuur kon worden vervoerd naar de plekken waar het nodig was. Er moest wel wat regels worden aangepast, maar die aanpassingen werden doorgevoerd.

Lees het hele artikel hier.

Wat is de huidige status?

De IATA heeft zojuist de luchtvracht cijfers over april bekend gemaakt. Air Cargo News schrijft hierover:

Looking at regional performance, IATA said that airlines based in Asia-Pacific saw demand for international air cargo fall by 31% in April 2020, compared to the same period a year earlier.

However, the large Asia-North America market recorded a lower 7.3% decline due to the rise in the movement of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Europe based airlines reported a 33.7% drop in cargo volumes in April, much sharper than the outcome for March (-18.8%).

“However, the large Europe-Asia market recorded less of a decline due to the rise in the movement of PPE,” IATA said.

North American carriers reported a fall in demand of 11.5% year-on-year in April, which was the smallest contraction of all regions.

“While still a significant drop, it remains less than the decline seen at the height of the Global Financial Crisis in April 2009 (-32.3%),” IATA said.

Lees het hele artikel met ook de cijfers over het Midden Oosten, Afrika en Zuid Amerika hier.

In een ander artikel schrijft Air Cargo News over de huidige stand van zaken, gebaseerd op data van Seabury Consulting:

Air Freight rates out of Shanghai continued on a downward trajectory last week as air cargo capacity on key routes remained steady.

Statistics from Accenture’s Seabury Consulting show that capacity from Asia Pacific to North America is 4% higher than the same week a year ago as more belly capacity comes into the overall market.

Meanwhile, on services from Shanghai to Europe, average prices also declined last week – although to a lesser extent than to North America.

TAC Index data shows that average rates on the trade were down 11.8% week on week to $8.65 per kg but are far above the $2.44 per kg average recorded last year.

The performance in rates to Europe reflects capacity on the trade, which is 8% down on a year ago.

While the capacity shortage— caused by the coronavirus-related loss of passenger services ⁠— is easing on the transpacific and Asia-Europe rates, space remains tight on many other lanes.

Transatlantic capacity, for example, is 60% down on a year ago westbound and 52% behind eastbound. South America-Europe is around 80% down in both directions, while South America to North America is 12% behind last year.

Overall cargo capacity is 26% down on a year ago.

Lees het hele artikel hier.

Hoe gaat het op de grootste luchthavens van Europa?

Schiphol Airport:

An increase in the number of full cargo flights mainly took place towards North America and Asia. The number of additional full freight movements to North America amounted to more than 275 flights. More than 250 additional flights to Asia took place. Nevertheless, the total volume of cargo transported declined by -26%, as it does not fully offset the freight normally carried in passenger aircraft holds.

Brussels Airport:

More and more airlines started operating additional flights with full freighters. This behaviour results in a strong increase of 52.1% compared to April last year. This increase largely compensates the loss of belly capacity, which has a strong decrease of 91%. The additional cargo flights are mostly carried out with full-cargo aircraft.

Overall, the freight volumes at Brussels Airport have known a decrease of 13,7% last month, compared to April 2019. The main reason for this decrease is the cancellation of most passenger flights.

Frankfurt Airport:

With only 6,512 takeoffs and landings, flight movements were also down by 85.1 percent. Accumulated maximum takeoff weights (MTOWs) fell by 75.1 percent to 664,022 metric tons. Cargo volumes (comprising airfreight and airmail) contracted by 20.7 percent to 141,337 metric tons. These reductions were mainly driven by a decline in available belly freight capacity on passenger flights. By comparison, there were significantly more cargo-only flights this April.

Heathrow Airport:

The number of cargo-only flights has jumped significantly. Heathrow’s busiest day for cargo so far was on 31 March, when it handled 38 cargo flights in only one day. The airport usually deals with 47 cargo flights per week.

However, the absolute volume of cargo has dropped, by 32% in March, according to the latest figures. This is because more than 95% of cargo is usually transported in the hold of passenger planes.

Take the load off your mind

Of je nu goederen verscheept van of naar deze drie grootste havens of een andere haven, onze douane experts staan voor je klaar om je vragen te beantwoorden en je te ondersteunen bij het importeren en exporteren. Neem vandaag nog contact met hen op. Take the load off your mind.