BRAZIL appears to be rescued by a surge of e-commerce as it recovers from scandals that sent Brazilian oil and gas executives and political leaders to jail for colluding in corrupt investment practices, crippling the country's economy.
But thanks to e-commerce grocery apps, improvements in infrastructure and a growing middle class in China eager to buy more fresh food, demand for air freight in Latin America is finally gaining momentum.
In addition, the rise in oil prices has reactivated demand for outsize carriers to move heavy-lift shipments to oil-and-gas exploration areas, reports New York's Air Cargo World.
'The market is coming back, basically because the Brazilian economy is starting to slowly recover,' said Rio de Janeiro-Galena International Airport (GIG) development chief Patrick Fearing .
'We had a big drop in oil and gas volumes here in the last two or three years because of the corruption scandal involving the Brazilian government. That, together with the decline in oil prices, really hit the market very hard,' he said.
Ault Cargo Express is doing a lot of e-commerce these days, including books, electronics, auto parts, wines and 'everything that is sold via the internet,' said Enid Rebel Forte, cargo planning manager for the Sao Paulo-based carrier.
'We also have Ault Box, which allows Brazilians to purchase goods from any e-tailor in the US,' he said, and send them to Miami, where Ault handles customs clearance.
Said LATAM Cargo CEO Andres Bianchi:. 'Coming out of a deep depression, rates are set to recover, as capacity starts getting tighter. From that perspective, we have a much better outlook for 2018 and '19.'