Air Cargo Containers
Flying Real Low, Plunging Air Cargo Traffic Takes a $15.5 Million Bite Out of the Global Revenues for Air Cargo Containers
The global market for Air Cargo Containers is expected to slump by -6.2% in the year 2020 and thereafter recover and grow to reach US$318.3 million by the year 2027, trailing a post COVID-19 CAGR of 4.5% over the analysis period 2020 through 2027. The COVID-19 outbreak has severely hit the freight transport and cargo containers market in the last months and the situation is likely to continue to remain grim for the rest of the year. Strict border travel & cargo movement restrictions imposed across countries to prevent the spread of infections has dealt global exports & imports a massive blow. Global trade which was already slowing down in 2019 due to trade tensions between U.S. & China is now facing additional woes of pandemic restrictions, recession & falling economic activity. Over 75% of global trade is carried out between countries without a common border making reliance on sea and air greater than trade with countries with common borders where road & rail have higher shares. The announcement of restrictions by the US on flights from Asia and Europe affected shipping and haul cargo capacity. The supply chain disruption on a global scale and restrictions coerced operators to rely on commercial aircraft, which resulted in a sharp hike in rates of all-cargo airlines. Amid the global cargo capacity crunches in air, road, rail, and ocean freight due to Covid-19, companies are looking into innovative solutions to combat the challenge of managing supply chains. As part of business continuity plans companies have more number of staff operating from home to address consumer queries and arrange for shipments as per the changing market conditions. With air cargo capacity dropping by double digits compared to the corresponding periods in the year 2019, air freight prices continue to skyrocket, especially in the Transpacific trade area. Forwarders are considering use of passenger freighters to move smaller quantities. Passenger areas of airplanes are being used to hold cargo instead of freighters that can hold 130 tons of capacity.
Companies are also switching from ocean freight to air freight, to get their goods early. With demand for goods such as PPE remaining strong during the pandemic period, prices for air freight are expected to remain high in the near term. While participants are struggling to secure shipping space to avoid delays, the industry is likely to face pricing and capacity issues for air cargo in the coming months. With global air cargo capacity already down by over 37.2% & with only 22.6% of belly cargo still flying, demand for Air Cargo Containers is expected to slump to historic lows in the year 2020. Apart from the disruptions in available capacity, air cargo logistics providers are also suffering from lack of clarity on available capacity. International air travel during the peak of the lockdown regulations during the 2nd quarter of 2020 was mostly through chartered flights that did not provide any transparency on the available capacity. As most of the flights were ad-hoc flights, it became impossible for logistics companies to predict capacity. Even though cargo operations were not affected, transport through dedicated cargo freighters became expensive. In addition, the rigid structure of air cargo transporters of operating between city pairs did not meet the requirements of air freight logistics. The other option of chartering flights is expensive and is economically unviable for most products. The lack of transparency in available capacity is affecting the cash flows of logistics companies. In addition, logistics companies still have to maintain airside and other ground handling capacities despite the lack of air cargo capacity, posing additional burden on these companies.
Air cargo containers are intended to facilitate transportation of a comprehensive range of goods by air. Conforming to specific requirements of aircraft, air cargo containers come in different sizes and shapes to ensure optimal bundling of cargo. Unit load devices (ULDs) are pallets or containers designed to load freight, mail or luggage on wide-body or certain narrow-body aircraft. These containers or pallets allow bundling of large amounts of cargo into one unit for optimal use of space, effort and crew time. ULDs feature a packing list for easy tracking of contents. There are more than 900,000 ULDs with an estimated value of US$1 billion, which are covered under IATA regulations. These containers are broadly segregated into air cargo pallets and lower deck or box type containers. ULD pallets are made of rugged aluminum sheets and feature rims for locking into cargo net lugs. On the other hand, ULD containers also referred to as pods or cans, represent closed containers that are made of either aluminum or a combination of Lexan and aluminum. Some of these containers also feature inbuilt refrigeration units for carrying temperature-sensitive products. A ULD comes with a unique ULD number for its identification. While the three-lettered prefix signifies the type and characteristics of a ULD, the four or five digit serial number differentiates it from other units. The last two characters denote the owner of the container or pallet.
Competitors identified in this market include, among others,
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