Hong Kong peak surprise

01 / 12 / 2009

HONG Kong has started to see signs of a peak season re-emergence after last year’s dismal offerings. Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals, which handles about 80 per cent of Hong Kong’s cargo traffic, recorded a 1.7 per cent increase in October compared to last year, to a total of 225,856 tons.The increase has caught some forwarders by surprise following cargo operators capacity cuts, although some have come out ahead. Stephen Fernandez, cargo manager of Air Charter Service in Hong Kong says that his office’s peak season resurgence has come as a pleasant surprise.“We started receiving enquiries in the middle of September, but it wasn’t until early October that they started booking the flights and the market really picked up. There was, all of a sudden, a lack of availability on B747s. At first most of the freight travelled trans-Pacific over to the States, and then the European market also saw increased demand. However in the last week or so the US has got a little bit quieter in the run-up to Thanksgiving, but that’s to be expected.”Fernandez isn’t getting carried away though. “One theory is that this is a bit of a ‘faux’ peak season created by capacity that has been taken out of the market by airlines parking up some of their fleets. Still, it’s fuelled by demand, which can only be a good thing. How much this resurgent demand is galvanised by fewer aircraft is hard to say though.”