For businesses importing their cargo by air freight, you may have noticed a number of key changes in recent weeks and months. We’re living in the midst of a pandemic and, although recreational flights have all been grounded, the air freight industry is attempting to navigate through to keep the world going. International trade is more important now, perhaps than it’s ever been in recent times, with countries struggling to maintain their economies as we attempt to flatten the curve. So why has COVID-19 had such an impact on air shipments?

Increasing demand

As soon as the restrictions came into place, one of the first things to grind to a halt was air travel. Countries locked down their borders, preventing travellers from flying in and out. If we look at supply and demand, you would expect this to have resulted in a drop in air freight pricing. However, the exact opposite is true. Over half of commercial air freight cargo is shipped in the holding area of passenger planes. On certain flights, this can increase as high at 80%. So with so many commercial planes grounded for the foreseeable future, the demand for cargo space has shot through the roof. And, as a result, the prices of this covetable has risen to a record high.

PPE shortages

Much of the western world has now become so dependent on the ‘Made In China’ label that the shut down of this manufacturing powerhouse threw supply chains into disarray. Particularly for the most covetable items such as PPE, large orders that had been accepted but not yet shipped have been held in a sort of shipment limbo until restrictions are lifted. Because of the demand for these products, the aeroplanes that are taking to the skies are undergoing far more journeys than they would previously. In turn, they are being put under heightened pressure and will need to be taken out of service for maintenance at more regular intervals.

Essentials VS Non-Essential

Another situation faced by the air freight industry is the rising competition between manufacturers. With limited cargo space, businesses are fighting to ship their product as a priority over others. This means that life-saving PPE is being stacked up against leisurely items such as garden accessories and clothing.

Here at Radius Warehouse and Logistic Services, we have over 20 years of experience in freight forwarding internationally. We are doing everything we can to support our clients and ensure that freight is available to them as regularly and efficiently as possible. If you would like to discuss a project with us or a specific requirement, please today.