Current freight situation for imports from China and Hong Kong
The 1. “Lockdown” is behind us but the import situation has not yet returned to normal.
If we ignore the entry and exit restrictions of the countries of origin for a moment, the situation will remain tense. One of the main reasons for this is that passenger flights are not returning to the same frequency as they did before the pandemic began. With passenger aircraft, however, a large part of the cargo is taken worldwide; and thus, also from Asia to the relevant destination countries. This results in restricted departure frequencies and, in some cases, very limited cargo transportation capacities.
Most trade routes around the globe are still showing strong double-digit capacity declines. According to current figures from the logistics industry, global air freight capacity fell by over 20% at the beginning of the fourth quarter compared to the previous year. The available capacities of passenger airlines are now showing slight improvements again - but are still almost two thirds below the previous year's figure. The transatlantic capacity from Asia to Europe and also in the opposite direction has fallen by over 50%, the inner-Asian air freight capacity by a fifth year-on-year-rate. On the other hand, there are comparably high, and in some cases even higher, import volumes required.
At ADKOM, we have been in close contact with our carriers on a daily basis since the institution of the pandemic restrictions. We constantly strive to keep the effects on your ordered goods at the lowest possible level. Even so, air freight rates remain at a higher level than before COVID-19. As a result, air freight surcharges unfortunately still have to be accepted. The transit times to Germany also increased by several days, which is due to the acute border controls in Europe, but also between China and Hong Kong.
For the fourth quarter of 2020 we expect a traditionally higher freight volume and tightening or further advancing air freight rates. A peak season surcharge is also being discussed.