Heathrow Cargo

Record breaking figures for Heathrow

Freight travelling through Heathrow reached record levels for the start of the year, as over 133,000 tonnes made its way through the airport in January, with export volumes growing by 10.6%.

The top destinations for cargo growth were the US (1,214t), Spain (1,070t) and China (966t).

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said:

“Heathrow is off to a flying start, with record passenger numbers and cargo volumes and the start of our public consultation on the third runway.  Heathrow expansion will provide the global trading routes to super-charge Britain’s economy as we leave the EU.”

Heathrow has now launched one of the largest public planning consultations in the country’s history – the next milestone in the airport’s plans for expansion. The 10-week consultation offers the public the opportunity to shape the airport’s plans, enabling Heathrow to deliver the benefits of expansion while the keeping commitments made to local communities.

Heathrow remains the UK’s busiest port by value with over £100bn of goods travelling through the airport each year.

air freight

Air freight volumes at their strongest year of growth since 2010

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released full-year 2017 data for global air freight markets showing that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs) grew by 9.0%. This was more than double the 3.6% annual growth recorded in 2016.  

Air cargo’s strong performance in 2017 was sealed by a solid result in December. Year-on-year demand growth in December increased 5.7%. This was less than half the annual growth rate seen during the middle of 2017 but still well above the five-year average of 4.7%. Freight capacity grew by 3.3% year-on-year in December.

Full-year 2017 demand for air freight grew at twice the pace of the expansion in world trade (4.3%). This outperformance was a result of strong global demand for manufacturing exports as companies moved to restock inventories quickly.

Industry-wide FTKs grew by 9.0% year-on-year in 2017 as a whole, up from 3.6% in 2016 and the strongest calendar-year of growth since 2010.  Demand grew three times faster than capacity in 2017, which drove a further recovery in the freight load factor. 2017 was also the strongest year of global goods trade growth since 2011.

“Air cargo had its strongest performance since the rebound from the global financial crisis in 2010. Demand grew by 9.0%. That outpaced the industry-wide growth in both cargo capacity and in passenger demand. We saw improvements in load factors, yields and revenues. Air cargo is still a very tough and competitive business, but the developments in 2017 were the most positive that we have seen in a very long time,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

“The outlook for air freight in 2018 is optimistic. Consumer confidence is buoyant. And we see growing strength in international e-commerce and the transport of time- and temperature-sensitive goods such as pharmaceuticals. Overall the pace of growth is expected to slow from the exceptional 9.0% of this year. But we still expect a very healthy 4.5% expansion of demand in 2018. Challenges remain, including the need for industry-wide evolution to more efficient processes. That will help improve customer satisfaction and capture market share as the expectations of shippers and consumers grow ever more demanding,” said de Juniac.

Airlines in all regions reported an increase in demand in 2017.

Asia-Pacific carriers saw demand in freight volumes grow 5.6% in December 2017 compared to the same period in 2016 and capacity grow by 2.2%. This contributed to a growth in freight demand of 7.8% in 2017 compared to 2016. Capacity increased 1.3%. The strong performance of Asia-Pacific carriers in 2017 largely reflects the ongoing demand for exports from the region’s major exporters China and Japan which has been driven in part by a pick-up in economic activity in Europe and a continued solid performance from the US. This is expected to support demand into the New Year.

North American airlines saw freight demand increase by 5.4% in December 2017 year-on-year and capacity increase of 2.2%. This contributed to an annual growth in 2017 of 7.9%.  Capacity grew by 1.6% in the 2017 calendar year. The strength of the US economy and the US dollar have improved the inbound freight market in recent years. Looking towards 2018, the recently agreed US tax reform bill may help to support freight volumes in the period ahead although this may be offset by the recent weakening in the dollar.

European airlines posted a 5.0% year-on-year increase in freight demand in December and a capacity rise of 3.2%. The strong performance in December boosted cargo volumes for the 2017 calendar year by 11.8% – the largest increase of all regions with the exception of Africa. Capacity in the region increased by 5.9% in the 2017 calendar year. This is consistent with Europe’s manufacturers’ export orders growing at their fastest pace on record. This is expected to support demand into the New Year.

Middle Eastern carriers’ freight volumes increased 6.3% year-on-year in December and capacity increased 4.7%. This contributed to an annual increase in demand of 8.1% in 2017 – the third fastest growth rate of all the regions. Capacity increased 2.6%. However, having not seen the strong upward demand of other regions in the first half of 2017, Middle-Eastern carries’ share of global demand dropped for the first time in 18 years.

Latin American airlines experienced a growth in demand of 4.9% in December and a capacity increase of 11.6%. This contributed to an annual growth in freight demand of 5.7% and a capacity increase of 3.1% in 2017. This was the first increase in annual demand in two years. The pick-up in demand comes alongside signs of economic recovery in the region’s largest economy, Brazil. Seasonally-adjusted international freight volumes are now back to the levels seen at the end of 2014.

African carriers’ posted the fastest growth in year-on-year freight volumes, up 15.6% in December 2017 and a capacity increase of 7.9%. This contributed to an annual growth in freight demand of 24.8% in 2017 – the fastest growth rate of all regions. This is only the second time African airlines have topped the global demand growth chart since 1990. Capacity in 2017 increased 9.9%. Demand has been boosted by very strong growth in Africa-Asia trade which increased by more than 64% in the first eleven months of 2017.

IATA stated that 2017 will be remembered as the best year for growth in air cargo. With growth comes additional challenges, therefore, it is important that the industry continues to transform and embrace new technologies. As Alexandre de Juniac, IATA ‘s Director and CEO says, “2017 was the strongest year for air cargo since 2010. There are several indicators that 2018 will be a good year as well. In particular, buoyant consumer confidence, the growth of international e-commerce and the broad-based global economic upturn are cause for optimism as we head into the New Year.”

To read the full report please go here

 

air freight

Air Freight up 5.9% in October – a strong start for Q4

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released data for global air freight markets showing that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs), rose 5.9% in October 2017 compared to the year-earlier period. 

This was a slowdown from the 9.2% annual growth recorded in September 2017 but still exceeded the average annual growth rate of 3.2% over the past decade.

Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne km (AFTKs), rose by 3.7% year-on-year in October. This was the 15th consecutive month in which demand growth outstripped capacity growth, which is positive for load factors, yields, and financial performance.

Airlines in all regions reported an increase in total year-on-year demand in October. However, in contrast, international freight growth slowed in all regions except Africa.

Asia-Pacific airlines saw freight volumes increase by 4.4% and capacity expanded by 3.9% in October, compared to the same period last year. Demand for freight is now around 3% higher than the peak reached in the post-financial crisis rebound in 2010.

European airlines posted a 6.4% increase in freight demand in October 2017. This was a marked slowdown from the 10.6% growth in demand in September, however it was still above the five year average of 4.9%. Capacity increased 2.5%. Concerns that the recent strengthening of the euro might have affected the region’s exporters have not materialised yet. Europe’s manufacturers’ export orders are growing at their fastest pace in more than seven years. Freight demand remains very healthy on transatlantic routes and is strong on routes to and from Asia – having received a boost in trade from the economic stimulus measures put in place by China.

According to the IATA, freight volumes are still expected to grow in 2018, although at a slower pace than in 2017.

Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO said that “Demand for air freight grew by 5.9% in October.  And tightening supply conditions in the fourth quarter should see the air cargo industry deliver its strongest operational and financial performance since the post-global financial crisis rebound in 2010”

why use us air freight

Air Freight – Why use us?

When it comes to international shipping, there are many choices as to how to move goods.  The main decision to make is what kind of transport to use.  Deciding between ocean freight and air freight is an important choice. Here, we give you the reasons why its a good idea to choose air freight.  

Going by air is the most time efficient. Its the fastest shipping method which means that goods can be moved quickly and is usually the more cost effective for smaller cargo.

The routes for air freight are large and diverse.  Most destinations in the world are covered and relatively easy to get to.  Air offers reliable departure and arrival times – a large amount of flights depart daily and this means that the risk of delay is lower than that of sea freight, with container ships usually on a weekly schedule.

Supreme freight specialise in restricted and hazardous goods, and dangerous cargo by air.  These types of goods need more rigorous checks, and with air freight comes a higher level of security generally, airport safety controls are paramount meaning that the restrictions can be difficult to navigate.

We have a team of highly skilled experts at our Heathrow Airport office with a broad range of experience in handling all types of shipments. We can:

Arrange daily nationwide collections

Offer an Air Freight consolidation service

Offer Direct and indirect shipment options

Create house airway bills on your behalf

We offer very competitive rates and we can invoice in USD to avoid any high currency exchange rates.

Why not contact us and see what we can offer?

enquiries@supremefreight.com

02380 337778

golden week

ALERT: Golden week and the implications for shippers

As part of celebrations for golden week, also called National Day, a major holiday is coming up in China from Saturday 1st October for a week, officially ending on the 7th but with effects lasting until the 10th.

It has been celebrated in mainland China and Hong Kong since 2000. The holiday was implemented by the Government to encourage domestic tourism and allow families to make long distance trips. This means that businesses come to a standstill.

All businesses will be closed, cargo flights are cancelled and ports operate on basic crews. Shipping quotes will be hard to obtain as nothing moves in or out.  Vessels are usually under capacity at this time so don’t sail.

Our advice is plan ahead! Contact us as soon as possible for rates and availability to secure your shipment in time. Please also be advised that there will be a back log of orders and freight after golden week which will mean that space will be at a premium.  If a shipment is time critical it is important to be organised before next week.

You can submit an enquiry through our website, send us an email or call us on 02380 337778.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Heathrow terminal 6

Heathrow terminal 6 in jeopardy

It has been decided that plans for a 6th terminal will be halted to keep costs down whilst the 3rd runway is being built.  

Heathrow published its half yearly report last month, which made no mention of the proposed plans.  Instead it stated that further investment in terminals 2 and 5 will go ahead instead, which allows the work to be done over a longer period of time to keep the costs under control. Whilst keeping costs under control, this also means that passengers will not face an increase in air fares despite the building of the 3rd runway.

When terminal 6 was submitted for public consultation it discussed the loss of up to 700 homes in the area, and was scheduled to be built by 2020.

According to the report, over 30% of the UK’s non-EU exports by value pass through Heathrow today. In the six months ended 30 June 2017, Heathrow’s cargo volumes increased 9.1% to 0.82 million tonnes, one of the strongest periods in the last 5 years in terms of year on year performance, with notable increases on North America and the Middle East.

John Holland-Kaye, Chief Executive Officer of Heathrow, said: “Heathrow’s strong start to 2017 is a boon for Britain…more British trade is flying high on new trading links and our expansion plans are on track. The Government set us the challenge to expand Britain’s hub while keeping airport charges close to current levels. Working with airlines, we are making good progress to meet this challenge whilst delivering all our local commitments and the global connections our country needs.”

Earlier this month it was announced that MPs will now not vote on Heathrow’s proposed expansion until 2018, with a final policy statement on airport capacity in the South East being delayed until next year.

amphibious

Amphibious AG600 prepares for its maiden flight

Manufactured by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) and following on from a successful run of ground evaluations, the AG600 is expected to take off from land for the first time this month. With a maximum take off weight of 53.5 tonnes, the amphibious plane is similar in size to a boeing 737.

It measures 36.9 metres in length and has a wingspan of 38.8 metres and AVIC have reportedly ordered 17 of them so far. Although marketed primarily as a firefighting aircraft for its ability to take off and land on water, it will also be used for military cargo, passenger transport and search and rescue operations. It will have the ability to carry up to 50 passengers and could also be used for a host of military operations including long-range patrols, anti-submarine warfare tasks, and mine-laying missions.

The land operation will take place before a flight on water during the later half of 2017.

air freight

Air freight rates climb in March

The latest figures from Drewry’s Sea and Air Shipper Insight report show that average ‘all-in’ air freight rates across 21 major east-west trade lanes increased by 7.9% year on year in March to reach $2.84 per kg. Prices were also up on February levels when airlines achieved an average price across the trade lanes of $2.73 per kg.

Drewry said that this time last year prices remained broadly flat compared with the previous month but added that current prices were still relatively low. The major airports reporting tonnage figure surged month-on-month displays that despite relatively low airfreight rates, there has definitely been growth in the trade. Capacity continues to rise, albeit at a slower pace than last year, although utilisation has gone up along with the rise in load factors.”

Major airports have seen double-digit rises, while key carriers also reported good tonnage increases – the biggest gains from Lufthansa, up 19% year-on-year, and American and United rose 24%. Meanwhile, airlines have reported that product launches are now no longer confined to the fourth quarter and perishables are in year-round demand.

Back in February, Drewry said it expected pricing to soften through March, due to lower volumes following the Lunar New Year holiday and the easing of congestion at the US West Coast ocean ports. However, beginning in April, rates should recover as air freight demand picks back up.

There was a two cent dip in prices paid compared with February, but month-on-month declines are expected at this time of the year and the rate of decline was much slower than that of both 2015 and 2016.

The improvement in airfreight prices comes as airlines have been seeing unusually high demand for the time of the year, with some suggesting this is down to a containership capacity shortage as shipping lines are in the process of launching a series of new alliances. Underlying demand also seems to be improving, while jet fuel prices have increased by around 30% compared with a year ago.

drone

Huge unpiloted cargo drones may eventually take to the sky!

Following on from our drone article last month, it has recently been announced that a drone the size of a Boeing 777 airliner could soon be launched by a start up firm in California.

A prototype will be tested this summer after which all being well a full scale version will be launched in 2020. It could lower the cost of shipping cargo by almost half due to eliminating the need for on board staff and maximising efficiency. The drones are designed to take off and land on water so that they don’t need to fly over populated areas. They will unload their cargo in docks rather than airports and will combine air and sea transport. It should when finalised be able to carry up to 200,000 pounds of weight.

Chris Connell, president of the global perishable goods transporter CFI, said: ‘Air cargo is all about speed at high price. Ocean freight is longer transit times at lower pricing. With certain goods – be it perishables, or goods that are looking for that middle ground – that idea of middle price for middle transit times is the sweet spot. Planes aren’t going to slow down and boats aren’t going to go faster. The drone concept adds something new. It adds to the intrigue.’

Connell says he’s used to end-to-end transit times of as much as seven days to send cargo from the West Coast to Hawaii by ship. He has the option to pay a premium to send it by air cargo for same-day arrival. But in many cases, there could be an argument for the middle ground that Natilus is aiming for, where cargo can be delivered to its destination in about three days, once loading and unloading is taken into consideration.

With the likes of Amazon and UPS testing their drones out on a much smaller scale, Natilus are hoping to bridge a gap in the current shipping market and use a resource that up until now has been out of reach. With technology expanding at a large rate, drones may be a new interesting concept, but at the moment they are just that. So called ‘old fashioned’ shipping methods will continue on as they always have, and companies will look for innovative and price effective ways of making sure that their customers still use people rather than just technology.

china uk

6 Top Tips for importing goods from China

In the current economic climate post Brexit, leaving the EU means that foreign relations have become more important than ever. Here are our 6 top tips for importing goods from China…

1. Ensure that the goods are permitted in your country, and that they are correctly classified. International trade is heavily regulated, and Supreme Freight can make sure that all your goods have the correct classifications, such as CFSP, IPR, OPR and warehousing entries, not forgetting BTI classification.

2. Do you need an import license? Do you need to pay VAT and Duty? This is dependent on the classification of the goods. Here at Supreme we can give expert advice to help simplify the process for you to make sure that the correct documentation is in place for your shipment.

3. Choose the right method of transportation. When importing from China the usual methods are either sea or air freight. If there are no time restraints and larger quantities, then sea freight may be preferable. If you would like your goods quicker and with higher levels of security, then air freight would be recommend. If you choose sea, then we can handle all types of cargo including full container load (FCL), less container load (LCL) and NVOCC groupie shipments. If air is your preference our team at Heathrow Airport offer a range of direct and indirect shipment services. Choice and flexibility are paramount and we work closely with both our client and supplier to design a schedule and transit time that will suit your requirements.

4. Track your cargo. Make sure you choose a forwarder who can track your goods. Our tacking page offers detailed information and insight to the status and progress of your shipment, for both sea and air freight. [link to tracking page]

5. Arrange collection of your shipment. We offer a door to door service if required which is convenient and flexible, and also offer container and cargo storage which is a crucial aspect of the supply chain.

6. Don’t forget the Chinese New Year! How can you avoid delays?! By making sure that your order is placed in plenty of time, November at the latest.

Happy importing!
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