Hong Kong Air Freight Soars Near 50 Percent

Hong Kong Air Freight Soars Near 50 Percent

Hong Kong’s largest airport freight handler reported a 48.9 percent surge in tonnage to start 2010, the most dramatic sign yet of a full recovery in shipping demand that has swamped Asia’s airports.

Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd. said import volume in January jumped 64.6 percent over the same month a year ago, when the global economic downturn sent tonnage into steep decline.

Export tonnage, which typically makes up twice the volume of imports at Hong Kong International Airport, leaped 52.3 percent over the same month last year.

Hong Kong, the world’s largest international freight airport, has seen a strong recovery in air freight since October and, like several other airports in Asia, has reported long delays for outbound cargo with demand outpacing capacity following airline cutbacks during the downturn.

As strong as the year-over-year expansion was in January, it was also built on the weak comparisons with the depth of the trade recession.

On a month-to-month basis, January’s volume for HACTL was off 8 percent from December and exports were off 9 percent, including an 11.3 percent slip in cargo bound for Europe.