Backlogs Form As Asia Air Freight Spike Exceeds Capacity

A spike in air freight volumes and restrictions on capacity to and from China has led to backlogs at some Asian airports. Reports this week stated that air freight demand from Asia to the Americas and Europe had grown substantially in the last few weeks and that capacity was struggling to meet all the demand. An increase in factory output activity after the Chinese National holiday had resulted in higher levels of demand for available capacity from origins such as Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Chongqing, Chengdu, Tianjin, Guangzhou, and at trans-shipment points in Taiwan and South Korea. Some backlogs have also formed as shippers accelerate orders by converting ocean shipments to airfreight to fulfil pre-holiday orders. As cargo had accrued at Asian airports, only marginal additional air freight capacity had been added to the market in October and during the first week of November. Some carriers have also struggled with crew shortages, mechanical issues, and flight cancellations.