December 8, 2017
Forwarders are scrambling for capacity as industrial action continues to hobble uplift out of Frankfurt Airport. And some expect the aftershocks to linger well into December. Strikes by two of the German gateway’s handling agents have resulted in severe congestion, limiting cargo capacity during an already stretched period for air freight. We are continually exploring with our partners in Frankfurt alternative gateways, with expectations that the problem would persist at least to the middle of the month. There are a limited number of flights able to offer cargo uplift, however, due to the issues with the cargo handling agents and the backlog. We expect capacity to remain extremely tight this week and into the next few weeks, and we are always looking for capacity at other airports in Europe. Lengthy discussions are believed to be trying to prevent further action following the Union of Ground Handling Agents’ decision to strike from 23-24 November. Our partner in Frankfurt said the Asia and European markets were already disrupted by slot restrictions, full transatlantic flights, sea freight shortages and sales booms such as Black Friday. For the 15th consecutive month, demand growth (5.9%) outstripped capacity growth (3.7%) in October, according to figures from IATA. And though lower than the September’s 9.2% demand was still above the average annual growth rate of 3.2% over the past decade.