A West Midlands freight forwarder has been experiencing a surplus in air freight requirements from customers across the globe, despite recurring reports of a decline in air freight.

Chadd Blunt, CEO of Millennium Cargo suggests that whilst there is a well-documented global decline in air freight – he has still experienced difficulty in locating air space capacity for his customers, despite its reported month-on-month decline in demand.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has published figures confirming that air freight has experience a prolonged period of decline over the past year, with reports suggesting that the peak season for global air freight markets has decreased by 3.5 percent in October 2019, compared to the same period in 2018.

Freight capacity that is measured in available freight tonne kilometres rose by 2.2 percent in October which in turn means that capacity growth has exceeded demand for the 18 months in a row.

IATA has further indicated that economic weaknesses in several key economies such as in the UK and Germany as well as ongoing political uncertainty resulting from Brexit’s continued delay is having a detrimental impact on global volumes.

In addition, the trade dispute between the US and China and stricter trade controls between South Korea and Japan is also being touted as a significant factor into why air freight is experiencing a period of decline.

Citing a change in customers’ buying habits, Chadd, who has over 30 years’ experience within the freight forwarding sector, suggests that whilst it’s experiencing a period of decline, air freight still remains an integral component to the industry as numerous market sectors remain reliant on its shorter lead times.

Chadd commented: “Whilst figures from the IATA indicate a global decline in air freight Millennium Cargo is experiencing the recurring trend of customers consistently requesting to ship via air and space becoming more difficult to locate.

“Everybody is battling for space so every freight forwarder is experiencing similar issues in finding air freight capacity. Services have been reduced and aircraft have been changed, along with their routes which in turn increases the difficulty of placing freight quickly.

“We live in an accelerated society where customer demands are reshaping the fabric of our industry. With the rise of e-commence businesses, vendors are working hard to offer the best customer experience possible which subsequently means offering improved delivery times so whilst the IATA is suggesting that there is an overall decline in air freight, there are still numerous market sectors that consider air freight as an essential component to any international logistics network.

“Therefore, although certain geo-political and economic issues have caused a blip in air freight growth, its demand remains significant from particular sectors – however unfortunately the reduction in services have also resulted in a pecking order for volume that is affecting forwarders throughout the globe – further cementing reasoning behind the reduction in movement.

“Whilst Millennium Cargo will not be alone in the struggle to find space on air freight, we will ensure to do our upmost in making sure that our customers’ cargo reaches its final destination with minimum delay and in the most cost-effective manner possible.

“This is where being a smaller freight forwarder is at an advantage as our flexibility benefits niche businesses of all sizes as well as larger organisations who require a more bespoke personal service.

“Rather than work to an entrenched framework Millennium Cargo will provide a versatile offering to suit customer requirements and we will ensure that we support our customers at every point of the delivery process.”