TNT is adding a second 747-400 freighter between China and Europe, stepping up capacity on routes that are seeing a sharp increase in volume and pricing.
The express carrier says it now will fly six times weekly from Shanghai and five times a week from Hong Kong to TNT’s main hub in Liege, Belgium.
Air cargo demand in the Asia-Pacific region has been booming this year, with the region’s air freight growing 36.3 percent in the first five months of this year while freight capacity has expanded only 13.8 percent over the same period a year ago, according to the International Air Transport Association.
By The Numbers: Asia-Pacific Airlines' Freight Traffic.
Much of that growth is being driven by exports. TNT says overall exports from China to Europe have expanded 50 percent during the same period compared to last year.
Expedited prices have also been on the upswing. The Drewry Air Freight Price Index for rates out of Shanghai grew 18.4 percent in April over the previous month and was nearly 69 percent higher than the same month a year ago.
TNT says its strongest growth is coming from the technology and fashion industries.
“TNT has seen a significant increase in customer demand for freight services between the regions,” said Iman Stratenus, the company’s managing director in China. “Our current freighters between China and Europe are operating at full capacity. The increased dedicated freighter capacity will ensure our customers … become more competitive due to shorter factory-to-market lead times and increased supply chain management efficiency.”