2022 will be the year of the freight forwarder charter business

2022 is expected to be the year of cargo charter for cargo companies again.

James Gagne, President and CEO of Seko Logistics, outlines the challenging market for freight forwarders in 2022.

He highlighted ongoing issues in maritime transport, labour shortages due to Covid impacting port/airport operations, ongoing consumer spending for at least the first 6-9 months despite inflation, rising freight rates, rising e-commerce demand, semiconductor demand / Shortages and drive shortages are just some of the challenges facing the supply chain this year.

For air freight, it also seems unlikely that abdominal capacity will return to pre-COVID-19 levels.

So 2022 will be the "year of charter flights," he said.

"Our focus is to do more in the leasing business, and we think the demand for leasing capabilities will only increase in order to serve customers," he said.

Last year, the company used 397 charter flights, compared with about 72 in 2020. This year, Shigong expects the figure to further increase by about 20-30%.

In the first few months of the year, other freight companies were busy expanding their charter operations.

Geodis will expand its AirDirect cargo network in Asia Pacific to meet "surging demand" in the region.

AirAsia X (AAX) has entered into a new air logistics partnership with Geodis to provide additional cargo capacity.

As part of the partnership, the company will provide the company with a new weekly rotation of a "dedicated cargo flight schedule" from Kuala Lumpur (Ku), Shanghai (PVG) and Sydney (Sydney), and will also add a second weekly rotation to its existing Library - Hong Kong (Hong Kong) - Chennai (MAA) - Library Services.

The agreement has an initial term of six months, starting on January 20, with further extensions under consideration.

Geodis said all flights are serviced by long-term charter aircraft and will add 320 tonnes of additional capacity per week to its charter network.

Meanwhile, DB Schenker increased its charter capacity outside India in mid-January to meet capacity constraints.

The company offers weekly charter flights on the route: Bangalore-Doha-Munich-Chicago. The new route is operated by Qatar Airways Cargo using one of the company's B777 freighters.

The flight builds on existing charter operations in Mumbai, Frankfurt and Atlanta.

These two flights connect three continents and are part of the freight forwarder's global flight operations network.

The company told Air Cargo News that the new routes will cover a wide range of verticals such as automotive, consumer and retail, electronics, industrial and chemical, healthcare and aerospace.

In addition, Desway has responded to the coronavirus restrictions and lockdowns in Asia by increasing its cargo capacity from Hong Kong and Singapore.

The freight forwarder will add two additional weekly flights to its Hong Kong-column-Hong Kong route, each offering 100 tonnes of capacity, bringing the number of weekly flights on the route to three.

At the same time, the company also launched a new weekly route from Singapore to Los Angeles.

Mads Ravn, Vice President and Head of Air Charter Network at Desway, said: "The market is currently severely underserved, especially outside of Asia, which has been impacted these days by an increase in Covid-19 cases and new restrictions. .We are monitoring the situation closely so we can continue to do what we can to keep our customers' supply chains flowing.

“We will also be launching a new DSV Air Charter route from Singapore to Los Angeles, which will further relieve pressure on some other hubs in the region and give our customers greater access to air services outside of Asia. So much flexibility."