Cargo Handling

Red Sea crisis sees air cargo volumes surge from Vietnam to Europe

Red Sea crisis sees air cargo volumes surge from Vietnam to Europe

Air cargo volumes surged from Vietnam to Europe last week amid the Red Sea crisis, new data has revealed.

Today, Xeneta, an ocean and air freight rate benchmarking platform, has claimed retailers are turning to air freight to protect supply chains and keep their products on shelves amid the ongoing crisis in the Red Sea and Suez Canal.

It comes as businesses across the consumer retail and apparel sector have reported delays and disruption caused by Houthi militia attacks on container ships in the Red Sea, forcing them to “take action”.

New data collected by Xeneta this morning, shows air cargo volumes from Vietnam to Europe (a major trade route for apparel) spiked 62 per cent last week – a 6 per cent increase on 2023’s peak week in October, and a 16 per cent increase on the volumes recorded in the same week 12 months ago.

According to Niall van de Wouw, the platform’s chief airfreight officer: “This is the first signal in Xeneta data that the Red Sea crisis is impacting air freight.

“This is typically a quieter time of year for air freight so to see increases of this magnitude, with higher volumes than at any point in 2023, is significant.

“Routes from Vietnam to Europe are used heavily for apparel, a sector we have been told is switching more goods from ocean to air due to the Red Sea crisis – so it is particularly noteworthy that we are seeing volumes increase to such an extent on this trade.”

Van de Wouw added, however, that the upcoming Lunar New Year may also be contributing to the increase in volumes.

Air freight rates from Vietnam to Europe have increased by 10 per cent compared to last week, but with increasing volumes putting pressure on capacity and load factor, costs could be set to rise further.

“When the Red Sea crisis escalated in December we stated that, once the impact starts to be felt in air freight, things could happen very quickly,” the chief airfreight officer continued.

“In the next two weeks we should know for sure if this represents a genuine and significant shift from ocean to air freight due to the Red Sea crisis.”

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