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U.S. Airports Will Offer Hundreds Of Collaboration Opportunities In 2024

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U.S. Airports Will Offer Hundreds Of Collaboration Opportunities In 2024

Airports nationwide either have major upgrades in progress, or such initiatives are being designed for a 2024 launch date. A significant decline in air travel related to pandemic restrictions has been dramatically reversed and recent studies now report that a majority of Americans have plans to fly somewhere in the next year. To meet the anticipated demand, the Federal Aviation Administration is providing funding support for critical projects. A total of $1 billion was distributed in 2023 for airport improvements, including basic infrastructure upgrades, expanded facilities, equipment purchases, safety enhancements, new technology and other amenities. 

Reada also: AFA Sponsors New Bill To Reduce Airport Truck Congestion

Airports have long benefited from federal funding support for normal operations. Still, now, with an abundance of funding for capital improvement projects, airports will be busy with improvement projects of all types. More than $300 million was recently awarded to support projects throughout the U.S. Examples of upcoming projects planned for 2024 launches follow.

The Salt Lake City International Airport will be expanded as part of an Airport Redevelopment Program. While phase I is complete and phases II and III are underway, a massive phase IV is still waiting to launch. Projects with a cumulative cost projection of $683 million are still in the design phase. The Federal Aviation Administration has provided another $29 million to support this last development phase. One construction project will add a 300,000-square-foot concourse expansion. The new construction will include upgrades for all three levels of the concourse. The ground floor will have additional space for airport operations, storage and support services. The second level will be devoted primarily to passenger circulation and amenities. A total of 16 new gates and an additional 40,000 square feet of food and retail space will be added. Level 3 will provide dedicated public space, an outdoor deck for relaxation, and large electrical and telecommunications rooms. Also included will be utility upgrades, paving and repair work, and limited demolition services.

City officials are discussing plans to upgrade and expand Area 4 of the Barbara Jordan terminal at the Austin Bergstrom International Airport in Texas. The estimated cost for the planned expansions falls somewhere between $200 million and $375 million. The project is still in its planning phase and a solicitation for the required design work is scheduled for this year. Construction solicitations will follow as soon as the design is finalized. This effort will include reconfiguring and modernizing the terminal and redesigning the area where planes park to receive passengers and baggage. There will not be an increase in the number of gates, but ADA accessibility and security will be upgraded. A $14 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration will be consolidated with other funding.

Officials at the St. Louis Lambert International Airport in Missouri will partner with airlines to fund a $331.6 million upgrading initiative. The projects that will be launched are part of a larger master plan that outlines approximately $3 billion in improvements. A new central utility plan is needed, and the design phase for that effort will begin this year. Upgrades are also planned for the airport’s mechanical and electrical systems, water main pumps, air conditioning and power distribution systems. The design and construction of the utility plant has been tagged with a cost estimate of $175 million. Another project being designed currently will relocate the airfield’s maintenance campus. The current campus is in a flood-prone area and cannot be used to store modern airfield equipment. Relocating the campus will cost $85 million. The design of a new de-icing pad will start mid-2024 and that effort currently has a cost projection of $53.2 million. 

The air traffic control tower at Tulsa International Airport in Oklahoma is nearing the end of its useful life, and a replacement project is planned. A new control tower and terminal radar approach control facility will be constructed at approximately $102 million. The project received funding for the design phase and is slated for this year. The new facility will meet current design and code standards, eliminate line-of-sight issues, provide space to accommodate all needed personnel in one place, and update all communication equipment. 

Officials at the Presque Isle International Airport in Maine will oversee a project to replace the passenger terminal. The planned $30 million construction project will deliver a 22,000-square-foot, two-story structure. A construction solicitation was slated for release early this year, and construction is scheduled to begin in June. The security and bag checking areas will be expanded and a new fire alarm system will be installed. The current terminal lacks a fire FAA-compliant system, which will be addressed. Other upgrades will include constructing a new airport ramp, expanding the rental car space, and installing universal electric vehicle chargers. There are also plans to relocate the airport’s museum to the new building. 

The Kahului Airport on the Hawaiian island of Maui received a $22 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration that will be used to support a $62.3 million TSA security checkpoint project. A construction solicitation for the work was set for release near the end of last year. The new south checkpoint waiting lobby, screening lanes and TSA support spaces will be moved to the second floor of the new screening facility. The ground level will be designed to provide office spaces and tenant retail. A pedestrian bridge will connect the south checkpoint to a passenger hold room. This effort will significantly benefit the Kahului Airport, the second busiest airport in Hawaii. 

Airport upgrade activities in 2024 will be significant and demand for experienced contractors will be high. Airline travel is not only getting back to normal, but it is projected to represent significant increases.

Author Bio

Mary Scott Nabers is president/CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc., a full-service business development firm specializing in procurement consulting, government affairs, research, and public-private partnerships. She founded SPI after co-founding Gemini Global Group and, before that, serving as a statewide office holder in Texas.


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US Allocates $105 Billion to Enhance Airport Airfreight and Traffic Control

In a bid to improve cargo flows through airports, the U.S. government has allocated substantial funding to enhance infrastructure and capacity at its gateways. Following investments in seafreight infrastructure, the administration is now focusing on airports and the recruitment of additional traffic controllers to alleviate congestion at busy hubs.

Last week, President Joe Biden signed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act, which earmarks $105 billion over four years to enhance air traffic control, airport operations, and infrastructure. This initiative aims to address constraints that have hindered traffic development, bolster system safety, and better prepare for future disruptions while accommodating growth.

Related Article: AFA Sponsors New Bill To Reduce Airport Truck Congestion

The package includes $19.35 billion for airport infrastructure improvement grants, with a portion dedicated to enhancing airfreight capabilities. “This is a major step forward in addressing the cargo congestion problem that has existed for quite some time at many airports across the country,” said Bob Imbriani, President of the Airforwarders Association (AfA).

During the pandemic, freight forwarders often faced long wait times at airports, sometimes up to seven hours. Despite normalized volumes, reports indicate that wait times still average around 2.5 hours. “This legislation is music to our ears,” said Brandon Fried, the AfA’s Executive Director.

In previous funding rounds, airlines received $25 billion of the $115 billion they requested from Washington, with no mention of cargo. Recognizing the need for dedicated advocacy, the AfA and the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) surveyed over 400 stakeholders in the air cargo sector, producing a 65-page white paper that successfully garnered Congressional support.

The legislation mandates the General Accountability Office to conduct a comprehensive assessment of U.S. air cargo operations over the next year. Although the exact allocation for air cargo improvements is not yet clear, estimates suggest $4 billion to $6 billion may be required, according to airport consultants involved in the project. Challenges vary by airport, including outdated road systems, labor issues, and antiquated technology.

A key objective of the legislation is to alleviate the overburdened air traffic control system. Last summer, IATA noted that U.S. airlines had to reduce schedules by 10% due to a shortage of traffic controllers. Airlines for America reported in January that the number of controllers was 3,000 short of FAA targets, 10% lower than in 2012.

Recruiting more traffic controllers could lift flight restrictions at airports like Washington National and improve aviation safety—a growing concern following recent incidents and near-misses, as well as quality issues at Boeing. The legislation also calls for advanced airport surface technology to prevent collisions.

Additionally, the legislation permits Boeing to extend production of its B767 freighter for another five years, potentially increasing demand for the aircraft in the near future.

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Surging Demand: Air Freight Growth Defies Seasonal Trends

Recent data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reveals a notable surge in air freight demand, with the Red Sea crisis and expanding consumer demand outside the US cited as key drivers. Despite the typical seasonal downturn between January and February, African and Middle Eastern markets experienced month-on-month growth, resulting in impressive annualized growth rates.

In February, overall demand for air freight, measured in cargo tonne-kilometres, increased by 11.9% year-on-year, marking the third consecutive month of double-digit growth. International demand saw even stronger growth at 12.4%, underscoring the buoyancy of global air freight markets.

Europe led the growth trajectory with a notable 15% increase, outpacing Asia Pacific and North America. Surprisingly, North America saw lower international traffic growth compared to domestic routes.

IATA Director General Willie Walsh highlighted the contrast in background trade growth, emphasizing air cargo’s resilience amidst political and economic uncertainties. Purchasing managers indexes also indicate a slow recovery in manufacturing activity and exports, further supporting the strong air freight demand.

The reasons behind this robustness are not entirely clear, but it suggests a recovery in consumer demand outside the US and a desire to quickly replenish inventories. The Red Sea crisis is also believed to be influencing market dynamics in the Middle East and Europe.

Despite the surge in demand, the impact on prices is unexpected due to rapidly growing capacity. Available cargo-tonne-kilometres surged by 13.4% year-on-year, driven by passenger jet belly capacity, while freighter cargo-tonne-kilometre growth remained relatively modest at 3.2%.


CargoAi Introduces Groundbreaking Air Freight Load Board for Airlines and Forwarders

CargoAi, a leading global provider of airfreight technology solutions, is revolutionizing the industry with the launch of its latest innovation: the Air Freight Load Board. This new feature, integrated into CargoAi’s existing marketplace and API solutions, is poised to transform how forwarders and airlines handle spot requests, offering unprecedented ease and efficiency.

The Air Freight Load Board empowers airlines and forwarders by providing access to a comprehensive database of available freight directly through the CargoMART Airline App. Key features of this innovative tool include:

– Seamless Search Functionality: Effortlessly browse through a wide array of available freight listings tailored to specific preferences and requirements.
– Direct Connection: Connect directly with the right contacts, eliminating the need for intermediary communication and expediting the booking process.
– Real-Time Updates: Stay informed with real-time updates on available cargo, ensuring timely decision-making.
– Enhanced Visibility: Gain unparalleled insight into the air freight market, enabling informed decisions and operational optimization.

Matt Petot, CEO at CargoAi, expressed the company’s dedication to innovation and customer value, stating, “At CargoAi, we are committed to driving innovation and delivering unparalleled value to our customers. With the launch of the Air Freight Load Board, we complete our value proposition, allowing forwarders to manage spot requests across airlines while empowering airlines to proactively discover these opportunities.”

The CargoMART Airline App, already widely used by airlines and GSAs, requires no API integration or extensive configuration. After a brief online training, users can seamlessly receive and manage spot requests, aided by augmented data. Additionally, a comprehensive market analysis dashboard provides invaluable insights into market conditions, enabling local sales teams to adjust their strategies effectively.

The Air Freight Load Board is now available to airline users, offering a transformative solution to the challenges of modern air freight logistics. For more information and to experience the future of air freight firsthand, visit today.

airfeight freight

Futureproofing Your Supply Chain: How Air Freight Can Support Your Business Amidst Disruption

Boats, planes, trains, trucks – when you start to add up all the global freight transportation options available and factor in constantly changing economic and geopolitical elements, it can be difficult to predict which will be the best mode for your freight. Having access to and knowledge of various options is critical for businesses who want to maintain a dynamic supply chain. Recently, the global air freight market has gained recognition for its benefits of speed and agility in the wake of disruptions.

An excellent example of this happened in 2020 when the demand for global air freight took off out of the necessity to move PPE, medical equipment, and other just-in-time inventory amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. With fewer commercial planes flying passengers and therefore less belly capacity, airlines were able to quickly increase capacity through cargo planes and businesses were able to capitalize on the speed of air freight.  

The outlook for air freight, however, hasn’t been so sunny over the last few years. In 2023, as supply chains finally started to iron out following years of expensive delays and disruptions, the demand for air freight dropped as business returned to ocean shipping as consumer behavior shifted and many looked to recoup costs after paying premium transportation costs during the pandemic. 

As new disruptions arise in 2023, however, the role of air freight remains an important option for a robust supply chain. For the first time in months, the demand for air freight has grown. Not because air freight is a direct cost-saving option, but because it is largely able to avoid disruptions other transportation options cannot. As businesses work to futureproof their supply chain from major delays and inventory shortages, as well as complex geopolitical factors, this trend towards using air freight to diversify your supply chain is likely to continue into 2024.

Here are 3 factors contributing to the growth of air freight into 2024:

Expanding Nearshoring Opportunities

After a few years of rollercoaster-like supply chain conditions, many businesses are recognizing the benefits of having their manufacturing operations closer to the products’ final destination or customer. Nearshoring, reshoring or friend-shoring has become increasingly popular as businesses are shaking off the damages caused by past and ongoing disruptions including labor issues at ports on the West Coast, mis-forecasted inventory and other supply chain delays. 

The transition of nearshoring, however, doesn’t just happen in the blink of an eye – it can often be rocky. As businesses adjust to completely new supply chains, air is used frequently to keep up with inventory as moving supplier components can be more difficult than just relocating manufacturing facilities. While it might not be the most affordable option long term, air freight is a popular mode for supporting businesses who are looking to quickly nearshore their operations. 

Congestion at the U.S.-Mexico Border

Several factors, including technology issues at customs, increased border security, and crossing closures created congestion and a backlog of shipments at the U.S.-Mexico border at the start of this fall. For some routes, these disruptions added nearly 15 hours to transit times, causing many to pivot to air freight to avoid delays at the border. 

For one industry in particular – automotive manufacturing – these delays plus recent strike activity created the perfect storm of disruption. The automotive industry has historically relied on just-in-time inventory management to drive efficiency, so delays can have detrimental effects on production. Many C.H. Robinson automotive customers looking to transport goods out of Mexico to mitigate further supply chain risks from strike activity, for example, were able to secure air charters in as little as a few hours. Air remains a major player even when strikes end as manufacturers  get caught up on production and suppliers need to ship inventory quickly to avoid a line-down situation. Air freight allows businesses to keep goods moving when other modes aren’t working efficiently enough. 

While the congestion has waned from the disruptions mentioned above, the growing demand and volume for U.S.-Mexico cross-border shipping through nearshoring and other trade incentives that make the countries an attractive option for many companies, could lead to more consistent congestion or bottlenecks in 2024.  

Holidays and Increased Retail Activity

While often more expensive, air freight is also a critical tool for specific industries and during certain times of the year. For example, medical equipment, electronics and trend-driven retail industries leverage air freight as they cannot afford major delays in the supply chain due to their timeliness.  

While consumer spending isn’t as high as it was during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, it remains high given the current economic outlook. Many predicted that there wouldn’t be a peak holiday season in 2023, and while it is mellow compared to the last few years, it is forecasting similarly to what we experienced before the pandemic. 

Electronics, for example, typically has a few major new product drops throughout the year. With these new devices, consumers typically need additional accessories like cases or chargers. Air is used for these goods to ensure they can arrive on time with the new technology. Additionally, as fashion trends evolve, brands cannot afford delays as the marketability of their goods relies on timely trends or fads. As ocean carriers use blank sailings to adjust to lower demand, air is far more reliable and mitigates the risk of last-minute delays. To keep up with this demand for quick-turn consumer goods, air freight will remain a good option in 2024 for those who can’t afford to miss their window of opportunity. 

Building Contingency Plans

Since 2020, supply chain professionals have collectively learned that while air may cost more initially, the potential savings from avoiding delays and inventory shortages make it a worthwhile investment and key element of any contingency planning and diversification strategy. While we can’t predict the future, we know disruptions and unforeseen factors are inevitable. Understanding supply chain solutions like air freight is a critical way to prepare for the unknown and futureproof your business as we move into 2024.  


Real-Time Tracking: New Customers for BlueBox Systems’ Air Freight Tracking API

Prompt and seamless exchange of accurate information is essential for a robust logistics network. With ThinkPrime and Delpa Group, BlueBox Systems, a leading developer of intelligent air freight tracking solutions, welcomes two new customers for its state-of-the-art air freight tracking programming interface. With this, BlueBox Systems enables companies to quickly and easily access high-quality air freight data, resulting in streamlined operations.

Using BlueBox Systems’ air freight tracking programming interface, ThinkPrime and Delpa Group each get the ability to integrate BlueBox Systems’ tracking data into their own platform, allowing the independent applications to communicate with each other and share data in real time. This gives all parties along the supply chain access to the most up-to-date and accurate information. For example, carriers gain access to real-time shipment data to optimize routes and allocate resources efficiently. Similarly, manufacturers can get up-to-date shipment tracking information so they can plan production and proactively manage inventory. At the same time, the API solution enhances security by providing controlled data access that ensures only authorized parties can access and use shared information. Finally, the API streamlines processes by fostering automation and seamless system interactions, reducing manual intervention and improving overall operational efficiency.

In addition to the API solution, BlueBox Systems also offers BlueBox Air, a web-based air freight tracking platform with a fast and intuitive user interface. BlueBox Air enables companies to efficiently manage their air cargo operations, reduce errors and improve overall productivity. BlueBox Systems also offers a white-label solution for companies that want to use its technology to offer their own air cargo management system to their customers.


U.S. Travel Agency Air Ticket Sales Top $8 Billion in June

Air Travel Sales and Passenger Trips Grew Steadily in the First Half of 2023.

Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) today released data showing June 2023 U.S. travel agency air ticket sales increased 2% year over year to $8.1 billion.

Total sales for the first six months of 2023 were 27% higher than the first six months of 2022 and down 0.3% compared to 2019. Total passenger trips were up 11% over the same period compared to 2022 and down 12% compared to 2019.

International travel saw the biggest improvement from January to June 2023, with the total number of international trips settled through ARC increasing 22% year over year compared to a 5% growth in domestic trips.

Results for June 2023 showed:

ARC Ticketing Metric Total Month-Over-Month Variance Year-Over-Year Variance
Total sales $8,098,227,889 -10% +2%
Total passenger trips 22,276,370 -8% +3%
U.S. domestic trips 13,620,896 -8% -1%
International trips 8,655,474 -7% +10%
Average ticket price $555 -1% -8%

June marked the third month in a row that the average price of a U.S. round-trip ticket was below year-over-year levels.

Ancillary sales increased 79% year over year to $24,555,898. Ancillary transactions increased 62% to 377,122 over the same period.

More detailed information is available on ARC’s sales statistics page.

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Sailing the Seas or Soaring the Skies: A Comprehensive Look at Ocean Freight vs Air Freight Shipping for Your Business

Complexity and congestion in the supply chain are at an all-time high today. Therefore, it is essential for a company’s success to choose the most suitable freight alternative. Air freight and ocean freight are both viable options for overseas shipments. They each have their benefits and drawbacks. Your company’s specific circumstances and goals will determine the most effective freight strategy.

Freight is the single most considerable expense in most supply chains. Businesses must consider how freight and its hidden fees affect their bottom line. Importers in the modern, globalized economy should try to save on both transportation costs and delivery times as much as possible. Which mode of transportation should a company choose when there are so many to pick from, including the air, road, train, and sea? Keep reading to find out what ocean freight and air freight shipping are and the top advantages of each.

Ocean Freight: What Is It And What Are Its Advantages?

Scheduling the transport of cargo through ships is referred to as sea freight forwarding. The freight company packs the items into metal containers and loads them onto the ship. The average container capacity of a cargo ship is about 18,000. This alone makes ocean transport a cost-effective method to ship colossal cargo.

  • Ocean Freight Is Often The Most Cost-Effective Option Compared To Air Freight 

Budget constraints are one of the primary drivers for SMBs to seek ocean freight transport services. For long-distance shipments, air freight could be costly. In most cases, shipping by the ocean is the most cost-effective method for transporting heavier items across distant locations.

  • Ocean Freight Are The Ideal Choice For Large Cargo

Shipment by air is too costly for heavy cargo. Thus most people choose ocean freight instead. Ocean freight rates can be influenced by weight, but shipping container sizes mostly determine how much it costs. Standard container lengths range from 20 feet to 40 feet to 45 feet. They can only hold a certain amount of weight due to the containers’ specific dimensions.

  • Little Impact On The Environment And Lower Carbon Footprint

The environmental effect of freight shipping is a valid concern for many company owners. Especially in the future, strict regulations may be required to control the impact of freight transportation on environmental issues, particularly when it comes to the use of roads and airplanes. In contrast to the other two options, ocean freight has a far less carbon imprint.

Air Freight: What Is It And What Are Its Advantages?

Parcel delivery through air freight is transporting items via an air transport service. Small, medium, and big companies who want to stay competitive can consider air freight delivery an excellent choice for shipment. This shipping mode not only delivers reliable delivery lead times but also simplifies the process to increase consumer loyalty. When importing or exporting items, it is necessary to consider each country’s legal and compliance requirements. PEO services can handle these aspects for your business. Professional global PEOs can manage the paperwork and procedures associated with the overseas shipment.

  • The Quickest Shipping Option

Congestion at ports is a significant problem that has made sea freight extremely slow in recent years. Air freight services are the most incredible option if you need to get your shipment to its final destination quickly. This is a significant time saver compared to going by the ocean or road. 

  • Strong Safety Measures Taken

Security concerns are pretty strict in the airline sector. This means it may prevent theft and damage from occurring while in transit. Cargo handling at the airport follows a set of specific protocols. The airport authority strictly enforces these regulations at all times.

  • Transport Status Monitoring Capacity

Many businesses specializing in shipping goods by air will allow you to keep tabs on your shipment via a web-based tracking system. As a result, you can track shipments from departure to their delivery. 

The Bottom Line

Matching your company’s needs with the benefits of air or ocean freight can help you make the best decision. Your attention can be divided between the two alternatives. In this instance, you should consider the benefits and drawbacks of each option to choose the one that best fits your requirements.


Silk Way West Airlines Signs Air Cargo Transport Memorandum with Nippon Express

Silk Way West Airlines Signs Air Cargo Transport Memorandum with Nippon Express

Silk Way West Airlines and Nippon Express Holdings have signed an Air  Cargo Memorandum of Understanding to offer enhanced solutions to their customers and to respond more  flexibly to changing supply chains. This agreement strengthens Silk Way West Airlines’ presence in the Japanese  market whilst helping Nippon Express Holdings to expand its business globally by providing cargo capacity across a worldwide network. 

Silk Way West Airlines has been serving the Japanese air cargo market since 2018 via weekly flights connecting  Baku with Kansai International Airport. The largest cargo airline in the Caspian Sea region has moreover been  offering regular flights to Narita International Airport, the most important air cargo gateway in Japan, since  2021. With the new memorandum between the cargo carrier and Nippon Express, Silk Way West Airlines will  play an increasingly important role in the region’s freight network, constantly improving the quality of air cargo  transportation services for both Japanese and international partners. 

About Silk Was West Airlines 

Founded in 2012 in Baku, at the heart of the Silk Road, Silk Way West Airlines operates hundreds of monthly flights across the  globe via its fleet of 12 dedicated Boeing 747-8F and 747-400F aircraft based at Heydar Aliyev International Airport. On April  28, 2021, Silk Way West Airlines signed a strategic fleet expansion agreement with Boeing for the purchase of five new 777  Freighters, followed by a further agreement signed on November 10, 2022 for the purchase of two state-of-the-art 777-8  Freighters. Silk Way West Airlines also agreed the purchase of two A350 Freighters with Airbus on June 28, 2022.   

About Nippon Express 

Nippon Express Group has positioned freight forwarding as one of its core businesses in the “Nippon Express Group Business  Plan 2023: Dynamic Growth” and is vigorously pursuing initiatives consistent with its air freight business growth strategies.  The company leverages an extensive international service network and offer a wide range of consolidated air freight  forwarding services – including collection, customs clearance, delivery and distribution operations – to a variety of  destinations worldwide.


Air Freight Tracker Q4 2022: When the US Recovers, Air Freight Rates will Recover

The balance of supply and demand in early 2023 will be a mix of mediocre or flat demand combined with strengthening supply, according to Ti Insight in its latest data report – Air Freight Tracker Q4 2022.

In 2023 freight rates will continue to weaken and this will end when the American consumer decides, according to data from Ti Insight’s knowledge platform GSCI, featured in its latest report – Air Freight Tracker Q4 2022 – which takes an in-depth look at the demand drivers of air freight, from a muted consumer economy in the US to Asia-Pacific production.

The extraordinary conditions of the past two and half years have ended, with the notable exception of China. However, the effects of the policies remain in the form of inflation that has resulted in higher interest rates and higher prices.

Key findings & data from GSCI:

–        The US consumer: The way that US consumer demand moves will have a disproportionately high impact on air freight demand, especially in Q3-Q4 2023. Internet-retail volumes in markets such as the US have fallen-back noticeably, affecting both the domestic and international operations of the big air express companies.

–        Inventory: In both electronics and US retail, inventory levels have increased over the past several quarters. In container shipping the so called ‘peak season’ failed to arrive, with demand flatish in Q3 and Q4. This is a strong signal that retailers perceive that their inventory levels are at least adequate and possibly too high- going into Christmas. This is a strong signal that air freight rates will be under downward pressure in Q4 2022 to at least Q1 2023, and very probably following quarters.

–        Asia-Pacific production: The forecast for demand from semiconductor manufacturers suggests that demand will fall between 10-15% year-on-year in Q4 2023. This represents a marked slowing from the perceived wider market trends at the beginning of the year. The result is a much weaker air freight demand environment, especially across and around the Pacific.

–        China & its COVID policies: China’s COVID policies are continuing to depress activity of all kinds, especially air transport. This reduces both the supply of and demand for air freight capacity. However, if China were to return to something like normality, then the implications for the wider global air freight market would be significant with renewed demand surging onto the market.

–        Passenger air travel: The appetite for passenger air travel is returning, yet in many regions the volume of air transport operations is not yet at 2019 levels. However, the trajectory looks promising and there is a real prospect that early 2023 will see the belly freight market returning to the very well supplied conditions seen previous to 2020.

–        Express carriers expand: All of the three large express carriers have expanded their fleets over the past two years, whilst airlines such as Emirates retain enlarged freighter capability. There have also been significant new entrants, such as Maersk and CMA CGM who have engaged substantial fleets of freighters. All of this suggests that the supply side will be very accommodative in 2023 and beyond.

–        Jet fuel: At present it might be tempting to assume that prices will remain high. However, they weakened noticeably through Q2-Q3 2022, so further weakening in the face of any recession in the US and low growth in China should not be ruled-out. Although the war in the Ukraine is perceived to have affected oil prices, the effects of this should not be exaggerated. Oil is more fungible than gas.