It has grown a lot more expensive to transport goods by air as the coronavirus outbreak has devastated global air freight capacity by grounding so many aircraft, forcing shippers to try ad-hoc and expensive workarounds, reported Caixin.
The situation poses a threat to industries that depend on planes to haul their products, particularly those that are especially fragile, expensive or perishable. This would include a wide range of industries such as luxury goods, electronics and seafood.
International air-freight prices have nearly quadrupled over the past few weeks to RMB 40 ($5.60) per kilogram, up from around RMB 10 a kilo before China’s outbreak began, according to a manager at a Chinese shipping company. Prices could rise to RMB 50 a kilo for transporting goods from China to Europe or North America.
Air freight capacity has grown dear as more and more commercial flights, which carry about half of the world’s air freight cargo, have been grounded amid restrictions imposed by governments around the world on whom they will let into their countries. For Chinese airlines alone, the amount of goods transported in February fell 21% year-on-year to 297,000 tons, according to data from the Civil Aviation Administration of China.