Since the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Outbreak emanated in the Far East, it should come as no surprise that its disruptive impact on global logistics struck there first. Analysts agree that the one transport mode most facing the greatest challenges now and in the foreseeable future is the air cargo industry.
Asia-Pacific carriers last December posted a decrease in demand of 3.5% compared to the same period a year earlier. Capacity increased by 2.8%. The full-year 2019 saw volumes decline 5.7%, the largest decrease of any region, while capacity increased by just 1.1%.
As the world’s main manufacturing region, international trade tensions and the global growth slowdown weighed heavily on regional air freight volumes in 2019. Within-Asia freight tons were particularly affected (down 8% compared to a year ago).
Some companies are trying to source parts to stock up on inventory, to try to outlast this critical virus period. This in turn, will eventually cause shortages of all kinds as companies pay premium prices and hoard parts.
Yet even if some parts start to trickle out of China, enhanced screening for the virus at airports, and all China border crossings are likely to cause significant delays.