Impact Publications : AirCargo-253
Page 6 • AirCArgo AsiA-PACifiC • FEBRUARY-MARCH 2018 comment When one door closes, our industry will find another one opens to provide opportunities THE NORTHERN hemisphere industry currently is talking about air freight rates becoming “unrealistic” along with moans about capac- ity constraints and frequent delays. However, this seem to be more of a case of winter blues than a reflection of worldwide trends. There always are blips in space availability on key routes, plus clearance at destination and ‘last mile’ delivery delays caused by congestion, but they don’t mean air cargo is finished as a preferred transport mode. What’s more, the day there isn’t some criticism of pricing struc- tures or rate increases is rare. Market forces always mean a certain level of volatility – high demand does drive prices higher, but even- tually if that demand is sustained, then services grow to cope with it and pricing levels stabilise. Certainly there seems to be significant optimism about air cargo in the Asia Pacific region. Freighters and belly-hold tonnages have been healthy, albeit with the occasional hiccup – occasionally even on high traffic routes as well as the more marginal. A decision by Amazon to open a fulfilment centre in Australia is obviously going to impact the country’s long-haul parcel freight. But for every change on that side of the ledger there is a new op- portunity to exploit - or one just over the horizon. It’s a cliche, but the saying ‘when one door closes another opens’, often is true. European criticism of air cargo, especially in the cold months when harsh weather gets in the way, is tempered by the region’s mature acceptance of inter-modal logistics. Sea, road and rail are all viable alternatives to air at times – even perishables can be moved rapidly across continental Europe these days and tight- ly-scheduled container liners often now compete with air trans- Atlantic or to the Middle East . Meantime, the Chinese have called on age-old transport beliefs to resurrect multi-modal routes around the world with China as their hub. The Silk Road lives again in the One Belt. One Road con- cept, which is evolving rapidly. Air plays only a small role in that concept – as yet , anyway. But its inter-modal foundations will benefit our sector in the long run. Meantime, on our doorstep in the Pacific, business is picking up as both Australia and NZ adjust their relationships with island neighbours and trade becomes two-way and diversified. The opportunities for air haulage of perishables, tech and other com- modities are developing slowly but with a sureness that bodes well. This is complemented by Pacific nations looking more and more to Asian links, partly for tourism but with cargo capacity to follow. - Kelvin King Delay in freighter- based fish farming after the runway owner and its builder fall out ONE of the potential bright stars of South Pacific air cargo has dimmed somewhat , because of a legal dispute. The Chinese-owned fish farm project on Hao atoll in French Polynesia is being cre- ated around the availability of a very long, well-maintained airport runway that will allow direct freighter flights to Chinese gateways. The legal dispute is between the owner and a construction company, allegedly over payment delays. Counter allegations have been made that the spat has been generated by political interference in Papeete. The project is well supported on Hao but has had to contend with some political to-ing and fro-ing. French Polynesia is renowned for its byzantine and sometimes dysfunctional politics, including allegations of high-level corruption. Hao nowadays has a population of only around 1,000, with few employment oppor- tunities. During the French nuclear testing period it was a thriving support community for the test atolls, a role that saw the me- ga-airport construction funded. Hao’s 3380m runway is longer than some of those at Australian gateways such as Adelaide and Darwin. It is mostly used by Air Tahiti, for whom it is a feeder hub to small airstrips unable to han- dle direct flights from far-off (about 920km) Papeete. FlyUs expands ops to Germany DUTCH-headquartered GSSA FlyUs has further expanded its European network with the acquisition of Global Cargo Management. Well-established in the German market , the company is headquartered in Munich and has a branch office in Frankfurt . The decade old company joins the growing GSSA company’s international network and extends the FlyUs global reach to 17 coun- tries. GCM will be rebranded to FlyUs GmbH in due course.