Market Overview

Air Cargo Stakeholders Should Be Focused On Hong Kong's Bigger Political Picture

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Air Cargo Stakeholders Should Be Focused On Hong Kong's Bigger Political Picture

Passenger flights out of Hong Kong International Airport were canceled en masse again Tuesday, August 13. The airport was closed Monday, August 12 due to an onslaught of protesters, but it had been slated to resume normal operations Tuesday morning. 

Thousands of protesters remained at the airport Tuesday. The anti-government demonstrations were scheduled to take place over the weekend. However, protesters have continued to show up at the airport in response to aggressive police tactics used on protesters elsewhere in the city, according to The New York Times.

Hong Kong Airport Authority suspended check-ins for departing flights Tuesday afternoon and urged travelers to leave the airport, but arriving passenger flights were less affected, according to the airport's website. 

Freighters have not been affected by the closures, and the airport's arrival and departure boards for cargo-exclusive flights indicate that operations are still underway. Where air cargo will take a hit, however, is belly cargo on passenger flights. 

Air cargo is still in its low season and freighters are still running smoothly, so these continued cancellations probably will not have a catastrophic effect on cargo. However, the changing situation at the airport and canceled passenger flights could cause cargo delays. Shippers should calculate in extra transit time in light of the situation.

"This is unnerving for the cargo industry, given Hong Kong's status as the world's largest airport for cargo," FreightWaves air cargo market expert Jesse Cohen said. "While reports indicate a higher percentage of freighter flights operated than passenger flights, continued civil unrest and a potential Chinese government crackdown increase supply chain uncertainty for air cargo stakeholders."

Ongoing political unrest has taken its toll on business sentiment throughout Hong Kong. Western companies with operations in Hong Kong have started allowing employees to work remotely. These companies are developing contingency plans in the event issues continue to escalate, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Cargo operations will see some consequences from canceled passenger flights, but stakeholders really should be focused on the large political picture in Hong Kong.

Image Sourced from Pixabay

Posted-In: air cargo Freight Freightwaves Hong Kong LogisticsNews Global General

 

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