Peter Zink can hardly wait for the Chinese Year of the Rat to end on Thursday. At Chinese New Year 2020, the Business Development Manager Middle East and Greater China at a. hartrodt in Frankfurt had been looking forward to new developments. But then there was a fatal break in air cargo imports from China, with capacity bottlenecks and persistently high rates. "It usually calms down after Chinese New Year, but a lot of things are different this year, too," Zink says. Air freight is characterized by "extremely high demand" in Europe, he adds. Nevertheless, with early planning, a. hartrodt "always finds options on the market."
Brightened air freight market ex China
In the still difficult situation, Zink sees a light on the horizon: "The price development is no longer as dramatic as it was in March 2020". However, capacities are still limited, he says. "After Chinese New Year, things will become more predictable," the manager is convinced. In the New Year of the Ox, he is counting on its attributes – this Chinese zodiac sign is considered to be calm and reliable.
Safe and flexible solutions
"Customers start the Year of the Ox safely and flexibly with 'Golden Services' at our hubs," Zink emphasizes. From Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, Hong Kong and Guangzhou, a. hartrodt offers daily departures to Frankfurt and Europe. At each hub, time-critical shipments as well as partial and full charters are possible in addition to standard shipments. "For light cardboard goods, for example with Corona auxiliaries, pax-freighters as full charters are an option," says Zink. Passenger aircraft, such as the Boeing 777 for up to 45 tons belly-hold cargo, are used as freighters.
Zink recommends early planning: "The sooner, the better." For air cargo imports from China, he expects the situation to remain difficult throughout the year 2021: "There will be no more passenger flights until the end of the summer flight schedules in October."