Cathay Cargo provides peak season update as cargo operations hit by Anchorage snowstorms

Source: Cathay Cargo

Cathay Cargo has reported that the market is approaching the “peak of the peak” although cargo operations are being affected by extreme weather.

Cathay Pacific regional head of cargo Southeast Asia Ashish Kapur said that the most pronounced peak is happening out of Hong Kong, led by e-commerce exports from the Greater Bay Area.

Meanwhile, the cherry harvest season is underway in South America.

“In Southeast Asia, the peak is less pronounced, but there is no doubt that there has been something of a surge and a recovery on load factors intra-Asia,” said Kapur.

“This will become a focus of our operations from Southeast Asia for the near future. At the start of the year, we were attuned to the concept of ‘China plus one’ but now the market is talking about ‘China plus three’, as Vietnam becomes saturated.

“Aside from Vietnam, there are also pronounced movements from Indonesia and Thailand.

“This is reflected in the increase we’ve seen in volumes of exports of components and accessories – especially in the consumer electronics sector – to the Chinese Mainland for final assembly in centres such as Zhengzhou.”

Meanwhile, airline operations have been affected by the recent snowstorms around the key air cargo hub of Anchorage.

The Alaskan city is set to experience its largest ever November snowfall with more than 95 cm of snow having been registered so far this month.

The largest snowstorm took place on Wednesday and Thursday last week, but more has been arriving this week and a citywide snow emergency is expected to be in place until Friday.

Kapur said: “Our freighters are leaving our home hub full. Some, though, have been affected by disruption. Across the network, we’ve experienced more cancellations because of extreme weather over the past month, with heavy snowstorms in Anchorage.”

TAC Index said that the snowstorms and flight cancellations helped push up rates out of China last week.

The index for outbound Shanghai routes “jumped” 8.7% on last week led by a “sharp rise” to North America.

“The latest rise featured sharply higher rates out of China, which was not surprising after record snowfalls in Anchorage appeared to hit capacity on Transpacific traffic – though prices from China to Europe and the US were both showing double-digit-plus gains,” TAC Index said in a market summary.

Elsewhere, Kapur reported the carrier was also contending with aircraft spare parts shortages.

“Our preventative maintenance programme remains in place as we try to work around the aviation-wide shortage of spare parts,” said Kapur.

“There is still a need for some programmed cancellations to create more certainty around the schedule.”


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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector. After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015. Contact me on [email protected]