Airfreight Angst


While we don’t often open our news with a joke, because it’s not funny and we understand that, this week, we want to inject a little levity. When the pandemic started, there was some internal buzz by industry experts regarding the delays and costs impacting the ocean freight industry. We remarked that a group of flamingos is called a flamboyance; a group of jellyfish is a bloom; an unkindness of ravens; bloat of hippos; or a leap of leopards, then perhaps we could name the current crushing number of containers bottlenecked at ports as a dumpster fire of containers. 

It was a harmless and terrifyingly accurate description of how quickly the disruption hit. In our current world, Argents would like to go a step further and name the airfreight disruption “a catastrophe of air cargo.” 

Disruption comes from all sides in the current logistics market and despite the news focusing on ocean issues and port closures in Asia, airfreight is in an especially difficult position. Limited air capacity combined with a reduction in flights over Russian airspace (a reduction of approximately 10 million miles of international freight routing) has led to a significant increase in costs. 

The only option, in this case, is to take an alternate, longer route which is expected to drive up fuel costs. Considering the volatility of the oil market with regard to the cost of fuel, the expectations are rough. Coupled with the capacity shortage, rates could be driven through the roof, despite the fact that some current costs are well on track to become the highest prices on record for transportation. 

What these issues in airfreight means for Argents’ customers is that we need to plan ahead and look at the routing as a whole as early as possible. Many forwarders agree that in the current state we find transportation, manufacturers need to be considering prices, capacity and storage costs before the factory even starts producing goods. Between getting cargo to end-users and bringing in raw materials for manufacturing, there are a number of pain points that can impact the timeline of releasing cargo. 

Next month, we’ll be talking about how Argents can assist you in launching your new product. As a setup for that discussion, we wanted to comment on how far in advance we consider the issue surrounding the possible contingencies that need to be considered before shipping. Whether you are looking to launch a single new product, planning to open a shop selling many different products by eCommerce, or just trying to develop procurement strategies to protect your business, you need a strong, knowledgeable, experienced partner who understands not only your business but the particularities of the myriad businesses and markets that can impact logistics. 

If you want to know more about how Argents stays one step ahead of the competition, reach out to your Argents representative for more information.