Schenker: “The cost of airfreight is half as expensive as it was, when the pandemic first broke out”

Katrina Poulsen

According to DB Schenker prices on airfreight are much lower now, as the airfreight capacity has increased during the last couple of weeks.

“We see a relatively normal pattern, with little variations,” says Morten Würgler, Head of Airfreight, DB Schenker, referring to the increased airfreight capacity, which can transport salmon.

When the corona pandemic first reached Europe and the US costs on airfreight rocketed. This made it impossible for small exporting companies to be able to pay for transporting their products by air. This is not the case anymore.

“The cost of airfreight is half as expensive as it was, when the pandemic first broke out,” says Morten Würgler.

Yesterday SalmonBusiness could report, that Icelandair and Schenker have partnered on flying salmon directly from Iceland to China. This initiative is a result of the increasing demand on supplies from China making the way for products to be transported the other way.

Morten Würgler explains that as China is transporting more medical supply and e-commerce to Europe, this has made the price on airfreight decrease for transportation back to China.

“Many people want to have flown in medical equipment related to Covid-19 to Europe from China. Therefore, the prices on airfreight to China has fallen,” explains Würgler.

China is a country with a large intake of salmon. The price reduction has therefore helped many European salmon farmers and processors to sell products, that would have gone to the European hospitality sector before the pandemic.

USA still expensive
Prices on cargo by air to the US are still high. Flights carrying cargo are leaving European airspace to supply the US, but there is not enough demand on returning air cargo from the US to Europe. This keeps the prices on air cargo across the Atlantic up.

“We are sending to the United States, but not enough is being sent back, so this keeps the price level on air freight up,” says the airfreight captain and elaborates:

“Long distance was previously driven by passengers, now it is airfreight that pays the cost.”

Time after COVID-19
The unknown development of the pandemic worldwide is making it hard for many companies to plan long ahead. But on the contrary Schenker is experiencing that more companies are doing so and making pre-orders on airfreight for late summer and autumn.

“There will come a time after COVID-19. We are now adjusting be able to face this. Some airlines will be here after the pandemic and others will not. We are looking at making collaborations that are also durable in the long run,” concludes Morten Würgler.



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