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EASTBOUND BOOST FOR AIR FREIGHT

Mar 27 2017

Eastbound air freight tonnages on Europe-Asia services now exceed westbound volumes on certain key markets, air cargo carriers have reported, confirming that there has been a long-term ‘re-balancing’ of the previous strong directional imbalance on key Far East-Europe markets.Carriers have also recorded a long-term trend in favour of eastbound volumes, confirming the findings of analysts. Research by data specialist WorldACD has revealed that while there was hardly any growth westbound from Asia Pacific to Europe over the past six years, in the opposite direction volumes increased by an average of almost 40%. As a result, volumes from Europe to Asia Pacific have now overtaken those transported westbound on certain lanes, reflecting the increasing purchasing power of Asia. The data specialist identified the markets of the major western European countries to east and northeast China, Korea, and Japan, as the main drivers for the general trend observed. The markets between the Pearl River Delta (Hong Kong and southeast China) and Europe are the main exception to the general trend: on these lanes, volumes are still much larger westbound than eastbound – at least for Germany, France, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Italy is different, however, with more traffic eastbound to north Asia. Several major air cargo carriers operating Asia-Europe services confirmed some of these trends – that recent increases in eastbound loads had exceeded westbound growth, resulting in a rebalancing of traffic or eastbound tonnages exceeding westbound tonnages on some lanes – even if the westbound direction remains the ‘head-haul’ direction in terms of yields and overall revenues.

Carrier Cargolux, which has been significantly expanding its capacity to and from Asia as part of a dual-hub strategy at Luxembourg and Zhengzhou, has also noted a recent trend of eastbound growth outpacing westbound. 

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