Rising outbreaks of the coronavirus are keeping travel restrictions in place, preventing airlines from reactivating their grounded international capacity and severely restricting available freight space.
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Carriers that have released interim results have reported a stronger first half, underscoring the effectiveness of aggressive capacity management on the main trades.
Severely limited air cargo capacity has forced airlines to scrap many block space deals held with forwarders at a time when spot rates on the major east-west trades are at high levels.
Container volume on the Asia-Europe trade has bounced back from a sharp drop in April during the Europe-wide lockdown.
The impact of the coronavirus on US imports from Europe can be seen in first-half volumes, where carriers are struggling to match capacity with sharply declining automotive demand.
Airlines and forwarders say spiking coronavirus infections in the US and developing countries will likely keep air cargo capacity in tight supply and elevate rate levels for a long time.
Shippers on the Europe-North America trade are reluctant to commit to large scale inventory replenishment, and service providers are expecting weak volume growth in the second half.
With global capacity unable to meet current demand, air cargo’s next challenge will be to find enough capacity to handle any massive rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The coronavirus impact on container demand cut Rotterdam throughput by more than half a million TEU in the first half of 2020, and the port is not expecting much improvement over the rest of the year.
The carrier block exemption from Europe’s competition law expires in 2024, but there is a growing view among shipping line customers that an evaluation of the regulation should be held as soon as...
Kuehne + Nagel believes its loss-making first half performance was still a “good result” considering the challenges created by drastic global measures to combat COVID-19.
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