After eight months of continuous labor conflicts at West Coast ports with no immediate sign of resolution, there has been a growing trend among those with the most urgent cargo to seek air cargo options in the marketplace. Few places have seen this more pronounced than in air cargo from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, a notable percentage of remaining air cargo capacity has been captured by customers seeking to complete shipments of already overdue orders caused by port delays. Air cargo companies have noticed some business gains due to the slowdown, although the impact, not formally studied at this time, has likely not been as significant for the air cargo industry as might be expected.
Nonetheless, Sea-Tac has now increased the total weekly number of planes operating cargo flights from the Pacific Northwest’s most important hub airport. The results are not divided on the specific cargo contribution due to the port slowdown, but if you look at Sea-Tac’s results alone, you can see that air cargo tonnage increased 8.7% to 318,332 tons in November 2014 compared to the same month a year earlier.
It remains to be seen whether the dispute will continue for a few more weeks or a few more months, but there is little doubt that the positive air freight figures for 2014 include at least a small fraction of the delayed cargo that needed to be airlifted to arrive on time.
We’ll continue this topic later in the week and analyze the latest air freight results from other West Coast cities. Call us for details on our services, and for other questions, check out the section below or our Twitter or Facebook page.
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