More than 40 percent of ChinaÂ¡Â¯sairfreight cargo to Australia is beingflown indirectly, via other internationalairports, a finding that may indicatethat there is insufficient cargo capacityon the direct routes, accordingto Australian cargo statistics groupMaritrade.
It said almost 40 percent of importsto Melbourne Airport from Chinaarrived indirectly, a figure that has remainedlargely unchanged in the lasttwo years. More than half of SydneyAirportÂ¡Â¯s imports from China in January2004, were on indirect flights, butthe figure is now at 40 percent.
Maritrade director David Bendallsaid that, compared with the US, theproportion of cargo on direct flightsfrom China was still very low.
About 95 percent of imports fromthe US were brought to Australia ondirect services, Bendall said.
It may indicate a lack of directservices, a shortage of capacity on theexisting services or that the airlines findit cheaper or more convenient to sendgoods through other airports.
Â¡Â°Direct shipments are being supplementedby substantial shipmentsthrough intermediate ports,Â¡Â± Bendallsaid.
Â¡Â°This means either that there is insufficientcapacity on direct flights, whichis probable, or that shipments fromChina are being routed through othercountries for some other reason.
Â¡Â°There seems to be substantial opportunityto provide more direct flightsbetween China and main Australianairports.Â¡Â± Maritrade figures show thatmore than 2.5m kg of cargo was importedfrom China through SydneyAirport in November 2006, up from2.3m kg in November 2005.
Melbourne Airport handled 1.3m kgof airfreight from China in November,the same as handled in November2005.
– John Spiers