Cathay Cargo has given an update on the current peak season and noted that the "most pronounced peak" is happening out of Hong Kong — mainly driven by e-commerce exports.
Ashish Kapur, regional head of cargo Southeast Asia at Cathay Pacific, noted that the market is approaching the "peak of the peak", although some of its cargo operations are being affected by extreme weather, such as the heavy snowstorms in Anchorage over the past month.
"The most pronounced peak is happening out of Hong Kong, led, as it has been all this year, by e-commerce exports from the Greater Bay Area," he said, adding that the cherry harvest has started in South America.
Intra-Asia to become a focus
"In Southeast Asia, the peak is less pronounced, but there is no doubt that there has been something of a surge and a recovery in load factors intra-Asia," Kapur added, noting that "this will become a focus of our operations from Southeast Asia for the near future."
"At the start of the year, we were attuned to the concept of 'China plus one', but now the market is talking about 'China plus three' as Vietnam becomes saturated," he added.
The Cathay Cargo executive noted that aside from Vietnam, there are also "pronounced movements" from Indonesia and Thailand.
"This is reflected in the increase we've seen in volumes of exports of components and accessories — especially in the consumer electronics sector — to the Chinese Mainland for final assembly in centres such as Zhengzhou," Kapur added.
Meanwhile, recent snowstorms in Anchorage have disrupted some of the airline operations.
"Our freighters are leaving our home hub full. Some, though, have been affected by disruption. Across the network, we’ve experienced more cancellations because of extreme weather over the past month, with heavy snowstorms in Anchorage," Kapur said.
The Cathay regional head of cargo Southeast Asia also noted challenges related to an industry-wide shortage of aircraft spare parts.
"Our preventative maintenance programme remains in place as we try to work around the aviation-wide shortage of spare parts," Kapur said.
"There is still a need for some programmed cancellations to create more certainty around the schedule," he added.