Latin America: cargo fails to kick on, after early promise

IN MID-JUNE, Latin America saw its first B747-8 freighter. On behalf of client Etihad, Atlas Air flew the 140-tonne freighter to Såo Paulo from Miami on a round-the-world routing, continuing to Quito to load up with South American exports.
The Middle Eastern airline and its US-based ACMI provider did not pick the most auspicious time to bring the B747-8F into the Latin American market.
The buoyancy that seemed to propel the region through the global downturn ran out a year ago, giving way to the all-too-familiar picture of overcapacity chasing sluggish demand in a volatile market.
“We forecast last year that this year would probably be flat. I think we were very accurate. Overall business is flat. The only thing we may have underestimated is the uncertainty in the market. One week business is great, the next it is down,” notes Robert Villamizar, strategic capacity director for the Americas at DHL Global Forwarding (DGF).
Business is down in Brazil, far and away the region’s largest air cargo market. At the start of the year, traffic was down about 30 per cent. “From Europe we saw a decrease of 40 per cent,” reports Roberto Schiavone, sen-ior vice-president, airfreight, for South and Central America at Kuehne+Nagel.
The market has recovered somewhat since but is still down from a year ago, he adds.
Read Ian Putzger’s full feature on Latin America in the next edition of Air Cargo News 1 July Issue No.755
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