It looks as though 2014 is shaping up to be a very good year for airlines who deal with air freight, as numbers are up across the board. While the market seems to be solid everywhere, it would appear that the biggest growth in the industry is taking place in Asia. The Shanghai Pudong International Airport Cargo Terminal Ltd. is reporting that their exports are experiencing double digit growth, with many in the industry saying that the numbers to date in 2014 are among the best ever.
The same sorts of numbers are being seen in Hong Kong, where year over years gains are sitting at close to 10%, which is all the more impressive when you consider that Cathay Pacific moved their entire cargo fleet out of that facility last year. Much of the increase can be attributed to the growth in the passage of air freight between Asia and North America, where cargo volume gas increased by over 2 million tons. Those are numbers that are creating a ripple effect across the entire industry, with everyone benefitting from the increased trade.
Cathay Pacific have also not been hurt by switching their operations point, as their numbers are quite literally exploding and are actually ahead of the pace of everyone else. The figures are particularly high in the May-June period, as shippers try to keep up with the month- and quarter-end deadlines. As much as it would seem that Asia is leading the way in the air freight industry, there is also solid news coming out of Europe.
In Switzerland, two of the world’s largest carriers, Panalpina and Kuehne + Nagel are also experiencing unprecedented growth through the first half of the year. They are both seeing their number sit at between 3-4% better than what was posted last years, which seems to be a trend that is being experienced by the industry as a whole. After an incredibly lacklustre 2013, it is believed that the entire air freight industry will see an improvement in the region of 3-4%, which will essentially maintain the level that is being hit through the first 6 months of 2014.
One of the reasons being given for this growth, especially in Asia, is down to the growth in the semiconductor industry. The sales of semiconductors were 72% connected to air freight, according to research figures released by BB&T Capital markets. Last year was a record year for the semiconductor industry, and it appears as though the gains made in 2013 are spilling over into 2014. This is great news for the air freight industry, as it really needed a positive boost after a year that can best be described as sluggish. This trend is likely to have other booming industries looking at air freight as a viable option for their importing and exporting needs. The hope among the airlines is that this increase in growth will have a knock-on effect that will continue to carry over into 2015.