Drewry: Hanjin Pain is Airfreight Gain


Drewry's Container Insight Weekly has focused on how the logistical chaos caused by Hanjin’s bankruptcy helped boost airfreight rates, but it has found that there is limited statistical evidence of cargo switching modes.

According to some of Drewry’s sources, airfreight benefited from the Korean company’s demise as some shippers were said to have shifted cargoes to the air.

IATA (International Air Transport Association) has reported that international airfreight traffic, measured in freight-tonne-kilometres, grew by 3.8% in 2016.

According to Drewry, this is will “undoubtedly be higher“ than its full-year estimate for container volumes (below).

In a recent analysis, ‘Where did all the Hanjin ships go?', Drewry examined how the container shipping market has adjusted to Hanjin’s bankruptcy

The IATA has also noted the speed of growth picked up in the second-half of the year. Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, said in February 2017 that  demand in 2016 made it “a good year for air cargo… boosted by solid year-end performance”.

In December 2016, IATA stated that some one-off factors were likely to impact October’s positive results, with a “potential modal shift to air cargo following the collapse of the Hanjin Shipping Company in August” and some last minute reliance on air transport as companies exercised caution in ordering as a result of weak market conditions earlier in the year. 

Drewry concluded: “Hanjin’s bankruptcy may have made a small contribution to stalling the modal shift in 2016, but as the anxiety over container cargo security subsides the long-term trend will resume.”

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