Capacity constraints have driven up rates for international shipments this year whether by sea, air or land, further complicating matters for supply-chain managers dealing with the effects of Covid-19 on their businesses, Bloomberg reports.
Limited passenger flights, which handle about half of the world’s airborne cargo, have created a significant reduction in available belly capacity, which has helped drive rates higher despite a decline in demand of about 19%.
Air-cargo rates from Hong Kong to North America almost tripled from the start of March to a record in mid-May as flights were grounded in worldwide lockdowns, TAC Index data show. Whilst prices have fallen about 37% from the May peak, they’re still 60% higher than a year earlier.
Even though airlines have parked thousands of jets as travel collapses because of the virus, there’s still strong demand for moving goods, according to David Einhorn, a hedge-fund manager at Greenlight Capital. He bought a stake in Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings in the second quarter, betting that the cargo carrier will benefit from the shortage of airfreight capacity.
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