(Sep 28, 2021) – The airfreight market and dynamics are accelerating again as market demand continues to rise and supply chain levels are limited considering the availability of freighter aircraft and high cost related to passenger freighter flights. Therefore, the market congestion has slightly eased through the lifted travel restrictions to and from the US, while carriers have started introducing planes back into service. The dependency on airfreight freighter operators and flights therefore remains high with no major increase in PAX flights into Q4 / 2021. The outlook remains challenging to manage the additional seasonal increase in volumes without having to largely utilize high yield-based passenger freighters and cargo flights from commercial airlines, while prices have recently surged, with no indication to return to previous known levels. Considering the already maxed out utilization of freighter aircraft currently placed in service.
Freighter aircraft operators have already started to conduct the required maintenance checks, expecting a return to service in support of peak season volumes.
The market is congested also considering the large impact of mode shift from ocean to air. Especially with a continuous increase of critical shipments being converted to airfreight, there is a significant increase in large shipments in the market that requires access to freighter capacity. This is adding pressure to the existing market imbalance of supply vs demand with no improvement in sight as the market is already in peak season. Facing the container vessel situation on the transpacific, combined with slow harbor servicing, transpacific volumes are expected to surge.
A critical point in the supply chain is the ground handling operations to ensure goods that are transported by airfreight are quickly turned around. The COVID-19 cases in key economies in Asia Pacific, such as China and Vietnam, but as well in Europe and North America has stabilized. In some markets, for example in China and in the US, the situation is still critical as ground handling and warehouse operations are restricted.
Our DB Schenker own controlled network includes flights on following routes:
→ Fueled with SAF: Frankfurt (FRA) – Shanghai (PVG) – Frankfurt (FRA)
→ Beijing (PEK) – Frankfurt (FRA)
→ Chicago (ORD / RFD) – Seoul (ICN) – Shanghai (PVG) – Chicago (RFD)
→ Frankfurt (FRA) – Beijing (PEK)
→ Frankfurt (FRA) – Mumbai (BOM) – Frankfurt (FRA) – Atlanta (ATL) – Frankfurt (FRA)
→ Frankfurt (FRA) – Chicago (ORD/RFD) – Frankfurt (FRA)
→ Frankfurt (FRA) – Shanghai (PVG)
→ Frankfurt (HHN) – Shanghai (PVG) – Frankfurt (HHN)
→ Frankfurt (FRA / HHN) – Zhengzhou (CGO)
→ Hongkong (HKG) – Chicago (ORD)
→ Hongkong (HKG) – Frankfurt (HHN)
→ Hongkong (HKG) – Los Angeles (LAX)
→ Liege (LGG) – Shanghai (PVG) – Luxembourg (LUX) (Note: This includes trucking to/from CGO-PVG / PVG-CGO)
→ Luxembourg (LUX) – Indianapolis (IND) – Luxembourg (LUX)
→ Munich (MUC) – Chennai (MAA) – Munich (MUC) – Chicago (RFD)
→ Shanghai (PVG) – Chicago (ORD)
→ Shanghai (PVG) – Frankfurt (FRA)
→ Shanghai (PVG) – Singapore (SIN) – Sydney (SYD)
→ Zhengzhou (CGO) – Frankfurt (HHN)
→ Zhengzhou (CGO) – Amsterdam (AMS)
More detailed information on this new flight schedule can be found by clicking here.
(Sep 29, 2021) - All offices remain in full operation with access to terminal handling and ground transportation. Operationally, our linehauls to and from the hubs are running as scheduled. Please get in touch with your DB Schenker Account Manager for more information.
→ Please get in touch with your DB Schenker Account Manager for more information.
(Sep 28, 2021) - Apart from China, there is no reported impact on operations due to COVID-19, with status largely remaining unchanged.
We continue to closely monitor all countries in the region, with particular attention on China.
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Spotlight: Greater China Update
There has been no change in the situation status following the stringent containment measures instituted by the authorities in Shanghai’s Pudong Airport (PVG). Backlog of cargo at PVG continues to be an issue.
The next two weeks will be challenging with the start of Q4 and Golden Week holidays.
Capacity & Operations situation (as of Sep 28):
→ Flight cancellations may be expected from airlines. Cargo will be collected only upon confirmed uplift.
→ Due to situation in CN, prices are expected to rise rest of Asia.
As the situation evolves quickly, updates will be provided to our account management teams on a frequent basis. We recommend being in close contact with your DB Schenker Account Managers for any further details.
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Delays are expected. Our priority is still focused on the health and safety of our workforce, while mitigating the operational impact where feasible. This underscores the continued risk on operations and the vigilance necessary to cope with the ever-present COVID-19 situation.
Our air freight operations remain available to support customer needs. Control measures remain in effect. Delays may be expected in customs clearance and transportation. Alternatives to transport cargo via other routes are being established and stop-gap measures for labor shortages are being deployed where necessary. Customers may contact the respective DB Schenker representatives for support or solutions if required.
Capacity is expected to remain volatile. We remain vigilant in monitoring the situation to mitigate events with potential impact to operations. Do refer to our Global Flight Network’s additional scheduled charter services for more solutions that can meet your needs.
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(Sep 29, 2021) - Overall, DB Schenker’s air freight operations in the countries remain uninterrupted and we continue to serve our customers. For more detailed market updates related to Middle East and Africa, please click here (PDF).
No operational restrictions for air cargo business
Angola, Bahrain, Egypt, Kenya, Namibia, Mozambique, Oman, Qatar, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, UAE
(Sep 28, 2021) - Approaching the 4th quarter, the anticipated strong ‘peak-season’ has manifested itself early. Carrier capacity which has been problematic for most of the year on most trade-lanes, is being further impacted by strong market demand and airport terminal situations that have become more challenging. Specific to the US market, airport terminals remain congested, suffering from a continued lack of personnel; a slowdown of processes on the export side related to IACO security scanning requirements that went into effect in July and volume movements higher than that found pre-pandemic. Imported cargo being slow to be released and export cargo often delayed in being received. The general labor shortage found in various sectors of the US economy fully affects transport logistics. Specific to the transpacific trade-lane, challenges with Chinese airport terminals, and most importantly in Shanghai, have created market cargo backlogs with imports as well as exports.
With continued volatility in available capacity in the market, and challenges at the airport terminals, DB Schenker’s own controlled flight network both transatlantic and transpacific is providing secure space for our customers. Our airport-based offices are providing the necessary coordination to provide the fastest transition of cargo possible. Our Rockford (RFD) gateway is supporting our flight operations into the mid-west / Chicago area and providing an excellent alternative. DB Schenker is now in a newly constructed RFD airport facility ‘ramp’ side to the aircraft with 30,000 sqft (2.800 m2) of warehouse space. This is to be expanded with 100,000 sqft targeted for 2022: DB Schenker’s further investment and commitment in its own flight operations network.
Americas exports by trade-lane:
USA – Europe
→ Market demand continues moderate to strong from the USA. DB Schenker is maintaining multiple, weekly, 747 freighter flights from Chicago, Rockford, Indianapolis and Atlanta to Frankfurt and Luxemburg. These freighter flights offer DB Schenker customers a stable and secure access to capacity in what continues to be a volatile market situation.
USA – Asia (excluding China)
→ Capacity remains tight but on most trade lanes with critical situations remaining with destinations in Australia, Singapore and India. DB Schenker has in place large block space agreements to support these destinations from its key USA Gateways, as well as 747 freighter flight operations two times per week from ORD / RFD to Korea (ICN), that continues on to China (HKG) as alternate for PVG during current market situation. DB Schenker is as well adding ad-hoc charters to Australia and Singapore to support customer demand for capacity.
USA – Asia (China Specific)
→ Chinese governmental protocols for combating COVID-19 have affected the amount of cargo that can be processed at key airport gateways, resulting in reduced carrier schedules and at time limitations of cargo on board flights dependent on whether there is enough ground handling staff available to off load or load aircraft. This in the face of strong demand in exports as well as imports between the USA and China. Market backlogs have developed with accompanying transit delays. DB Schenker as part of its own controlled flight network maintains 747 freighter flights from ORD / RFD. Use of HKG for landings has substituted for PVG, during the current terminal difficulties at that airport. The flight operations occur twice per week. DB Schenker has devised alternate airport transit options as an alternative to bypass destinations with the greatest challenges and has introduced ad-hoc charters where and when needed.
USA – Latin Am / Latin Am to Europe and APAC
→ Intra-Americas: Capacity is in strong demand, with market backlogs effecting all major origins & destinations. Challenges related to freighter carriers schedule fluctuations continue. On the critical Miami to Sao Paulo trade-lane, DB Schenker has introduced flight operations from ORD to GRU, as well as from MIA to VCP. Passenger flights continuing to be well below pre-COVID-19 levels. This situation is affecting all transit between North & South America as well as Central America.
→ Latin Am Exports: North American and European destination capacity is tight with the markets suffering backlogs due to limited freighter capacity; missing passenger aircraft space and continuing strong demand.
USA / Latin Am to Middle East / Africa
→ South Africa with continued strong market demand and shortage of capacity.