Forwarder bemoans lack of airfreight capacity

By Damian Brett

A UK freight forwarder has said it is experiencing a lack of airfreight capacity as airlines adjust services to meet current market conditions.

Millennium Cargo managing director Chadd Blunt said that the struggle to find capacity comes despite the airfreight market entering a period of decline.

“Everybody is battling for space so every freight forwarder is experiencing similar issues in finding airfreight capacity,” Blunt explained. “Services have been reduced and aircraft have been changed, along with their routes which in turn increases the difficulty of placing freight quickly.

“Whilst Millennium Cargo will not be alone in the struggle to find space on airfreight, we will ensure to do our upmost in making sure that our customers’ cargo reaches its final destination with minimum delay and in the most cost-effective manner possible.”

One contact said his business is not experiencing the same issue in locating capacity, but Blunt said that as small freight forwarder he can no longer find airfreight space immediately and is having to wait a minimum of three-four days, sometimes longer.

The forwarder said it was primarily on services to the US, but added that it was across the board and is a situation it has encountered over the last six months.

Added Blunt: “We live in an accelerated society where customer demands are reshaping the fabric of our industry. With the rise of e-commence businesses, vendors are working hard to offer the best customer experience possible which subsequently means offering improved delivery times so whilst the IATA is suggesting that there is an overall decline in airfreight, there are still numerous market sectors that consider airfreight as an essential component to any international logistics network. 

“Therefore, although certain geo-political and economic issues have caused a blip in airfreight growth, its demand remains significant from particular sectors – however unfortunately the reduction in services have also resulted in a pecking order for volume that is affecting forwarders throughout the globe – further cementing reasoning behind the reduction in movement.

Earlier today, IATA issued its latest airfreight statistics, showing that airfreight had declined for the 13 month in a row in November, dropping by 1.1% compared with a year earlier.

However, this is an improvement on performance for year-to-date, which shows the airfreight market is down by 3.4% over the first 11 months. It is also the industry’s best performance in eight months, fuelled by e-commerce demand.

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