“Air freight users should be prepared for long-term challenges caused by economic uncertainties”

“Air freight users should be prepared for long-term challenges caused by economic uncertainties”

The Q2 2024 results for the DHL Hong Kong Air Trade Leading Index (DTI) have been published. This quarterly survey, which is the first of its kind in Hong Kong, aims to provide a comprehensive outlook on the air trade market and underlying trends.

Key highlights of Q2 2024 include:

  • The Overall Air Trade Index expected a modest improvement in Q2 2024. The indices for air imports and air (re-) exports recorded an upward trend.
  • In response to the Red Sea incident, around 40% of freight traders transitioned from ocean to air transport in Q1 2024 to avoid shipment delays and additional costs associated with sea freight. It is anticipated that this shipping arrangement will remain in Q2 2024.
  • A growing number of air traders have expressed willingness to reduce carbon emissions, reaching its highest level at 77% this quarter since Q3 2023. Among these traders, over 90% are willing to allocate up to 10% of their logistical costs towards achieving this goal.
  • Asia Pacific, Europe and Americas markets witnessed a recovery in their index performance in Q2 2024, especially in their sales volume, while the Asia Pacific’s Index outperformed all other markets.

The DTI analyses the key attributes of business demands based on a survey of more than 600 Hong Kong companies that focus on in- or outbound air trading. An index value above 50 indicates an overall positive outlook, while a reading below 50 represents an overall negative outlook for the surveyed quarter. The further the reading is from 50, the more positive or negative the outlook is.

DHL Hong Kong Air Trade Leading Index is a quarterly survey implemented by the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) , and commissioned by DHL Express (Hong Kong) Limited.

Mr Edmond Lai, Chief Digital Officer of HKPC, commented, “The Overall Air Trade Index improved by 3.2 points this quarter, reaching 39.2 points. However, it remains relatively weak due to uncertain economic factors. Only about 10% of air freight users expect increased demand during the upcoming Labor Day holiday and the Olympic Games Paris 2024. Air freight users should be prepared for long-term challenges caused by economic uncertainties. Despite the economic impact, over 75% of air freight users are willing to actively participating in carbon reduction initiatives. HKPC encourages businesses to review their operational processes for potential carbon footprint reductions. We will support sectors in establishing carbon reduction targets and adopting low-carbon technologies to promote industry-wide green transformation.”

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