Rate rise fiasco

FREIGHT forwarders are scratching their heads over airlines’ pricing policy. Some have been hurt by rate hikes as the airlines had earlier signalled, whereas others are still waiting to see prices go up.
Lufthansa Cargo had given the first signal of impending rate hikes in late August, telling customers that it would gradually raise its rates by an average of 25 per cent worldwide. The Air France – KLM Cargo tandem followed with a statement of intention to raise its rates between 20 and 30 per cent effective early October. Since then, a number of other carriers, including Japan Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Cargolux and Delta, have moved to raise their prices.
Air Cargo News has learned, however, that a major forwarder is still being quoted block space agreement rates of RMB 11 out of China for capacity on Jade and Lufthansa – a rate that is no different than before the announced ‘across the board’ rises. A Lufthansa Cargo spokesperson described the deal as “an exception”.
Typical, however, of smaller independent agents, US forwarder International Transport has been hit with rate hikes.
“We’ve lost orders because of the sudden and large price increase combined with the reduction in freighter capacity,” reported Mark Vinesky, manager of air export operations of the Ohio-based cargo agent.
An executive at one of the top 10 global forwarders is looking at a totally different picture. “The airlines are increasing rates? That’s baloney. They’re still spot quoting like whores,” he commented privately.
For the full story read the latest issue of Air Cargo News, dated 30 October. To subscribe, click on ‘Subscribe’ above.

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