Without a doubt, Asia is a leading trading partner for the New York Customs District (NYCD). Inbound and outbound air freight from Asia through John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) translates into China being NYCD’s leading trading partner in 2006 for imports and Japan the leadingtrading partner in 2006 for exports.
Three out of the top fi ve goods from China were fashion items (footwear, knit and woven apparel). Exports to Japan are largely machinery andtobacco.
Between January-December 2006, imports from China weighed in at 178.71 metric tonnes, an increase of 1.9 percent over 2005 totals. Exports to China were 30.53 tonnes in 2006, up5.5 percent from 2005 figures.
Exports to Japan increased 1.7 percent in 2006 to 90.97 tonnes. Imports from Japan totaled 39.00 tonnes; down12 percent from 2005 tonnage.
“Here at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, we’re truly excited about the way developments in the Asian market segment of our business are shaping up in 2007,” reports Michael J. Bednarz, manager for Air Cargo Business Development, Aviation Department, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANY&NJ).
The year started off well with the inaugural service of freighter carrier Yangtze River Express Airlines into the New York market. Yangtze River Express began direct service between Shanghai and JFK on March 8, 2007, operating three times weekly with aB747-200 freighter.
“The Shanghai freight market continues to become increasingly important,” Bednarz says. “This additional direct capacity that Yangtze River Express Airlines offers is a welcomed addition for the forwarders and shippers in our half of the US.”
Plans at Yangtze River Express call for upgrading its equipment to B747- 400 aircraft in the second half of this year and the possibility of adding a fourth frequency with another Chinese destination. This is good newsfor PANY&NJ.
“China continues to be our leading trade partner, and the Asian region as a whole continues to represent more than half the tonnage that our airports handle,” states Bednarz.
Based in Shanghai, Yangtze River Express is 49 percent owned by China Airlines, together with Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation, Wan Hai Lines and China Container Express Lines. Out of the 49 percent share, China Airlines has secured a 25 percent stake, and is, therefore, the largest overseasshareholder in the company.
Looking at developments in South Asia, India has become quite a focus. India weighs in at the NYCD’s eighth largest trading partner with 51.98 tonnes in 2006. It ranked sixth for imports at 38.74 tonnes, and 15th forexports at 13.24 tonnes.
Currently, US carrier Continental Airlines serves the Delhi market from EWR and is planning additional service to Mumbai in the fourth quarter of this year. From JFK, US carrier Delta Airlines serves the Mumbai market whileAir India serves both cities.
“Looking at opportunities ahead, we’ll have additional capacity to the India market,” reveals Bednarz. “As a new market entrant, Jet Airways is scheduled to begin service between Delhi and Newark early in the second half of 2007 with B777-300ER passenger aircraft.”
Besides the good news, Bednarz also sees challenges ahead with air cargo access being at the front of the list.“Reliable roadway access is anintegral component of the air cargologistics chain as carriers, forwarders,and manufacturers alike rely on surfacetransportation to move goods to andfrom our airports in an effi cient andcost-effective manner,” he states. “Weknow that we have the nation’s largestconsumer market.
However, we also know that in order to maintain our competitive position in the global market, it is mandatory that we assume the leadership role when looking to improve the movement of cargo to and fromour airports.”
By working with the New York City Department of Transportation and New York State Department of Transportation, as well as with the New York City Economic Development Council, PANY&NJ is making great progress inaddressing this issue.
“Some improvements pertaining to traffic flow, signage, and roadway geometrics have already been made,” he says. “However, we are working on many others and view this initiative as a long-term project that needs to be consistently pushed forward.” – Karen E. Thuermer