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Air Cargo

With the air cargo industry under increasing competition from ocean carriers for certain cargoes, especially perishables, more sophisticated software and technology tools are helping drive the migration from ocean to air.

DB Schenker, the logistics unit of German railroad Deutsche Bahn, has reached agreement with three airlines involved in a global price-fixing cartel but is still seeking damages from three other carriers.

The global air cargo market got off to a sluggish start in 2015, with traffic up 3.2 percent year-over-year in January as lower volumes on European and North and South American routes offset strong growth in the Asia-Pacific region.

Air cargo leaving India has been hit with severe delays because of poor weather and the lingering impact of U.S. West Coast port congestion on world trade, according to a U.S. freight forwarder specializing in air and ocean freight in the Far East.

International Airlines Group’s cargo revenue declined 7.5 percent in 2014 from the previous year, largely because the owner of British Airways and Iberia quit freighter operations.

Freight forwarder Expeditors International saw air freight volume soar in the fourth quarter, reaching a 19 percent year-over-year increase in December, as shippers tried to fly over West Coast port gridlock.

Trans-Pacific air freight markets will continue to benefit from shipper demand as U.S. ports take several months to clear the backlog of containers that stacked up during the protracted waterfront labor dispute between terminals and the union.

Air France-KLM’s cargo losses widened to 212 million euros [US $242 million] in 2014 from 202 million euros in the previous year as a two-week pilots’ strike compounded the impact of a weak global airfreight market.

TNT Express plane being unloaded
TNT Express slumped to a 137 million euros [US $156 million] net loss in the fourth quarter of 2014 from a 32 million euros profit in the same period in 2013, driven mainly by restructuring charges tied to an abortive takeover bid by its larger rival, UPS, two years ago.

Atlas Air 747-400 Freighter
Panalpina has signed a new five-year agreement with Atlas Air under which it will switch one of the two 747-8 freighters wet leased — an arrangement where crew, maintenance and insurance are also provided — from the U.S. firm to scheduled charters.