The Biggest Ocean Shipping Lines Are Turning to Airfreight - ISS Relocations

Airfreight is Becoming More Popular Among Large Ocean Shipping Lines

As customers become interested in air shipping, which is more expensive and reliable, container ship operators are forced to invest in aircraft and find aviation partners.

Shippers want a quicker way to transport items globally. Thus ocean freight companies are now beginning to include air cargo in their repertoire. Although this shipping mode represents only a tiny part of the vast cargo industry, owing to issues like pandemic-prompted supply chain disruptions and travel bans, as well as changing patterns in consumer spending, it has become much more visible lately.

With more people shopping online because of the pandemic, air travel has become essential for keeping oceanic trade moving. Shipping companies rely on a balance of sea and land transport to deliver goods, but the sudden increase in online orders has disrupted that system.

For weeks, ships have been forced to anchor idly as congested ports prevent them from docking. Further compounding the problem, a shortage of workers available to load and unload vessels has hindered deliveries. Exporters with plenty of goods ready for shipping struggle to find enough containers to hold them all while other containers sit unused.

The three European companies with the greatest control over container shipping, Denmark’s AP Moeller-Maersk, France’s CMA CGM Group, and Switzerland’s Mediterranean Shipping Co., have largely avoided airfreight.
Many companies used to feel that airfreight was an expensive distraction from their globe-spanning fleet of giant vessels, container terminals, and related logistics businesses. But many customers are now opting for air shipping because it is more reliable and often faster, say executives. These container ship companies are now racing to catch up with the demand.
Last year, Maersk- the world’s leading container shipping company- created an air cargo division with 15 aircraft. Their top competitor, CMA CGM, did likewise last year and will have 12 functional airplanes by 2026.
The International Air Transport Association reports that air cargo demand increased by 2.2% from 2019 to 2020 in the year’s first half.

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