Asian air freight industry can achieve 5% growth YoY: PACTL
If the forecasts about freighter deliveries for the upcoming 20 years are true: the Asia Pacific will continue to be a major growth pillar of air freight, with Asia Pacific carriers generally having additions in large size freighters. In an exclusive interview with The STAT Trade Times, Lutz Grzegorz, vice president, Shanghai Pudong International Airport Cargo Terminal (PACTL) talks about how the Asia-Pacific region is positioned in the air freight industry. How do you view Asia’s positioning in the air cargo market? Asia still constitutes the strongest air cargo market in the world. Although the double digit growth rates are gone, a healthy plus of five percent on average can be achieved year by year, which is quite good compared to the other markets. Furthermore, export and import volumes have complemented each other over the past years. Nowadays, they are more balanced which allows international airlines to operate round trips more efficiently. What is the current trend observed in the freight industry of Asia? Asia’s air cargo industry sees a growth in the domestic markets. Especially the air cargo industry in mainland China continued to increasingly show a development above average during the last couple of years. Which are the commodities that are driving air cargo demand to/from Asia? Electronics and machinery are generally known as major commodities driving the air cargo demand in Asia. In addition, there’s an increasing demand for the transport of special cargo like pharmaceuticals, which also means that there are more and more special requirements within the transport process. What are the challenges faced by you in the Asian air freight industry? I still think that all parties along the logistics supply chain – from shippers, handling agents and customs to airlines and airports – need to further intensify their collaboration in order to work towards one seamless information system, allowing the establishment of more efficient tracking solutions. There’s still a huge potential when it comes to speeding up dwell times. What is the percentage of your growth in 2014 as compared to same period last year? What were the contributing factors? PACTL achieved a tonnage growth of 13.93 percent year-on-year and handled 122,556 tonnes in the month of April; this was the best monthly result in April and beat the previous record set in April 2011. In the first four months of 2014, we saw tonnage rise up by 14.30 percent to a total figure of 444,105 tonnes. This was the best result for the first four months in the history of the company. It beat the previous record set in 2011. Compared to the previous year, our domestic cargo volume grew by 4.94 percent to 29,995 tonnes in the first four months, while the international cargo volume rose by 15.05 percent to 414,110 tonnes. Imports grew by 16.4 percent to 180,736 tonnes, while exports showed an increase of 12.90 percent to 263,369 tonnes. We were able to continue the strong performance we achieved in 2013, when PACTL handled about 1.3 million tonnes of air freight. The positive development not only reflects the growth in the domestic market and the ongoing recovery of the international markets, but our expanding client base, too.