To Our Valued Customers:
The Coronavirus situation in China continues to improve with 80-90% of all factories fully operating. The increase in urgent back orders, needing to be shipped by air, has continued to put pressure on airline capacity resulting in rates soaring beyond normal peak-season levels. As of Monday, 03/16, airfreight rates were as much as 50% higher than the previous week. With most American flag carriers offline to/from this region until at least April/May, and Asian based carriers now scrambling to deal with lack in passenger demand, flight schedules are changing rapidly as will rates. Currently, all freighter, CAO, services out of China are full and therefore carriers are considering to charter passenger aircraft for cargo shipments only. Hong Kong is also experiencing severe capacity issues and week-over-week rate increases of roughly 40%, additionally charter services are recorded at an all-time high.
To help our customers manage their business through this difficult time, Laufer Group is offering alternative solutions for both urgent shipments and those that have flexibility with transit times. In addition to a full wide-range of the traditional services, we are offering Part-Charter space from Hong Kong to the USA as well as two different Sea-Air services from the mainland (via Korea & via Taiwan).
As China improves, the USA and Europe are facing a growing challenge with Coronavirus containment. Travel bans to and from the European Union and the Balkan States have forced airlines to take unprecedented actions on flight schedules, rate agreements, and booking procedures. American and European based carriers have reduced flight schedules by 50-90% drastically reducing cargo capacity. Unlike the Asia trade-lane, where most cargo moves on freighter aircraft, the European market is mostly supported by passenger flights and therefore the reduction in passenger services is almost a direct reflection of the reduction of cargo capacity. As a result, airlines will be flying passenger aircraft to service cargo only. Many of these flights will be ad-hoc and naturally not at normal rate levels. Notices have been issued that all general tariffs, contract agreements, and allocations have been revoked until further notice. All shipments need to be quoted on a case-by-case basis and certain airlines have implemented ‘single shipment contracts’. These contract which would hold customers responsible for freight charges in the event that the shipment missed the delivery cutoff at the receiving terminal.
While each airline differs in their response to the situation, Laufer Group is talking with and utilizing, the full scope of carriers to ensure that our customers receive the service level required for each unique situation.