(Nov 24, 2020) - Demand in the global airfreight market is increasing and remains on a very high level. In particular Asia Pacific Outbound demand has already led to a strong peak season with limited supply due to COVID-19 capacity implications. Freighter capacity is limited and aircraft utilization has reached similar peak levels in the first half of 2020. The strong demand has therefore led to additional charter flights to supply additional capacity on major trades. In the short-term passenger freighter flights can become a more viable option on several trades to supply additional capacity to overcome the expected supply shortage until year end.
Furthermore, the situation across many large economies (e.g. USA, Germany, China) has become more critical due to regulations related to COVID-19. These key countries are now additionally challenged with increased ground handling times at large airport terminals and warehouses. The increase in COVID-19 cases has led across various countries to delays in the operational processes due to staff shortage and positive COVID-19 cases across the workforce. Further the overall strong airfreight market and volumes show no sign of relief in the short-term. Therefore, the situation is also expected to lead to slightly long transit times until the market is softening again or the COVID-19 situation across the countries stabilizes.
Spotlight: COVID-19 Vaccine Logistics
Key leading pharmaceutical manufacturers have recently announced significant progress related to their COVID-19 vaccine developments. A critical item that will impact the transportation requirements and supply chain planning is the temperature requirement of a vaccine product. Many countries are not prepared for deep frozen storage and have a lack of capabilities related to such products. As the air cargo market is preparing further to global support for the distribution and supply of a vaccine the implications highly change from one-year to the next. In the initial phase less of an impact is forecasted due to the limited supply and key personnel receiving the COVID-19 vaccination. Once the vaccine reaches a second phase with a global distribution into key major economies the capacity demand will increase. During this phase we expect a supply from the USA and Europe to key economies in the world that have also pre-ordered vaccines from the key manufacturers. The containerized supply will not only demand additional capacity from major vaccine production sites in the US and Europe, but also require a container repositioning cycle and reverse logistics process. Therefore, additional demand is as well expected from the receiving countries of a vaccine product back to the production sites to allow the equipment to return to it’s required locations. Due to further imbalance of supply and demand this additional demand can lead to a further shortage of supply globally.
Our console charter flight schedule now includes the following flight operations:
→ Europe – China – Europe: 4 flights per week (B747-400F)
→ Hongkong – Europe: 2 flights per week (B747-400F)
→ China – USA: 3 flights per week (B747-400F)
→ Europe – USA – Europe: 3 flights per week (MD11F and B747-400F)
→ Europe – India – Europe: 1 flight per week (B747-400F)
(Nov 24, 2020) - All offices remain in full operation with access to terminal handling and ground transportation. All our European hubs deliver import and receive export freight with small to no backlogs recorded towards the weekend. Inbound delays up to maximum one day do occur exceptionally. Operationally, our linehauls to and from the hubs are running as scheduled. Outbound space situation is stable.
Space is restricted to North America and South Afrika.
Almost no space available to South America.
(Nov 24, 2020) - Shanghai Pudong Airport expects congestion and delays, due to reported COVID-19 infection cases linked to Airport Cargo employees, with latest case reported on Tuesday, Nov 24th. Hundreds of Inbound and Outbound flights have been cancelled as the airport tests over 17,000 employees. A similar situation at Tianjin International Airport is also reported as nearly half of all scheduled flights are cancelled, due to measures to mitigate local outbreak.
The incidents underscore the continued risk on operations and the vigilance necessary to cope with the ever-present COVID-19 situation.
Though resurging COVID-19 infections are evident and tight controls remain in some countries across APAC, our air freight operations remain available to support customer needs. Delays will be expected in customs clearance and transportation. Alternatives to move / transport cargo via other gateways / routes are being established. 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.
(Nov 24, 2020) - Overall, the air freight operations in the countries remain uninterrupted even as Oman, Kenya, and South Africa slip into partial curfew. We continue to serve our customers. Our regional and global preferred carriers are seen to gradually increase the frequency of passenger cargo flights.
No operational restrictions for air cargo business
Qatar, Kenya, Oman, South Africa, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt
Restrictions for operational air cargo business
(Nov 24, 2020) - The 4th quarter and a busy peak-season have placed a strain on capacity to varying degrees by trade-lane. In addition, airport terminals are at times running behind in transitioning cargo creating further challenges. Especially the ground handling situation at key major airport such as Chicago O’Hare has led to delays in the import ground handling process and workforce constraints due to COVID-19 impacts. The situation has improved, but DB Schenker closely monitors the situation to mitigate any impacts for our customers and inform you immediately in case of any change. DB Schenker Flight operations and part charters both transatlantic and transpacific are providing secure capacity for our customers, and our airport-based offices are providing the necessary coordination to provide the fastest release of cargo possible. Situation by trade-lane is as follows:
USA – Europe
→ Market demand is moderate to strong. Further charter flights have been launched with the Global Flight Operations Program to provide additional air cargo capacity to Europe. These flights are connecting Atlanta and Chicago with Frankfurt, Germany and other surrounding Central European markets. They offer DB Schenker customers a stable access to capacity in what continues to be a volatile market situation.
USA – Asia (excluding China)
→ Capacity has tightened on most trade-lanes as a 4th quarter peak has materialized with the strongest capacity challenges remaining with movements to Australia, Singapore and India. DB Schenker’s strong ‘Part Charter’ capacity in place from ORD to destinations in Australia, and flight operations via the DB Schenker Euro Hub from FRA – BOM are supporting DB Schenker customer demands to these destinations.
USA (exports to) – China
→ No capacity constraints to key destinations in China. Demand is moderate with the market supported by the large amount of inbound flight operations and charters that support capacity on the return leg to China.
USA – Latin Am / Latin Am to Europe and APAC
→ Intra-Americas: Market demand has grown significantly into the 4th quarter, with access to capacity becoming very tight with pricing moving up on all lane segments. Demand USA to Brazil and Chile having become much stronger, and critical situations remaining for movement to Peru and Bolivia from the USA, and between Brazil and Mexico.
→ Perishable peak season as well straining available capacity and increasing rates ex Latin America to USA, Europe and Asiatic destinations.
USA – Middle East / Africa
→ South Africa with continued strong demand and shortage of capacity.