Increased reliance on airfreight causing delays and fueling costs

By Margaret Bux
clock 3 min

As markets reopen and recover from COVID-19 restrictions, to ensure that products are back in stock, shippers are increasingly relying on expedited freight as a solution, in particular airfreight.

During COVID-19 pandemic surges where lockdowns were put in place to combat infection rates, factory closures or reduced operations have resulted in production delays.  In cases where closures lasted a few weeks, to catch up, many manufacturers have turned to airfreight instead of consistently delayed ocean freight, as a way to plan for the supply chain disruption.   For small items in particular, current in-demand goods like clothing, masks, vaccines and electronics can all be shipped by air quicker and the cost is not so great.  However for many shippers currently, bringing in goods by airfreight can significantly increase their expenses as airfreight has been in a very strong peak-season mode due to the increased demand.   

Airfreight volumes out of China have been increasing week by week, in particular to the U.S. where the relaxation of lockdowns and the reopening of retail stores is enabling the economy to get back to normal.  Airlines seeking higher yields have turned to North America, however as capacity is being absorbed onto the higher-rate American flight lanes, the rest of the world is suffering with less available flights.  Furthermore, we expect that the air cargo peak season, normally in October and November, could start in September with importers rushing to make sure that American holiday inventories arrive in time. 

We advise our shippers to book airfreight early, as this increased airfreight demand with limited supply is currently causing delays of between 7-10 days coming in and out of Australia as well as rate increases of between 25-30%  This trend is likely to continue upwards over August, so if you have any questions at all or require help with working out the best freight solution, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Clarke Global Logistics on 9854 3000 or email


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