Hong Kong air freight backlog causes rate hikes
Some airlines and freight forwarders are charging a premium to move backlogged air cargo out of Hong Kong as the industry recovers from the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud, according to a report from the South China Morning Post.
Cathay Pacific, DHL and UPS have raised freight rates to Europe to three of four times the normal level — to about $12.89 per kilogram — in response to shipper demand. The affected cargo includes everything from electronic goods to high fashion. The story estimates that, as of late last week, 50 Boeing 747 freighters would be needed to clear the backlog of air cargo.
Rates for charter flights from Hong Kong to Europe also surged from about $480,000 to $500,000 before the eruption to $700,000 currently.
Airlines and forwarders warned in the days after the eruption that rates would have to be raised to clear the backlog clogged by a near total shutdown of airspace in northern Europe for five days.