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Demand for fresh produce and fends off overall decline in air cargo

GLOBAL air cargo demand has been sliding since January, with a year-on-year drop of 4

Demand for fresh produce and fends off overall decline in air cargo

GLOBAL air cargo demand has been sliding since January, with a year-on-year drop of 4

14 August 2019 - 19:00

GLOBAL air cargo demand has been sliding since January, with a year-on-year drop of 4.7 per cent recorded in April while at the same time a growing middle class in Asia is boosting air cargo demand for fresh produce.

While the volume of electronics is falling, fresh produce is rising by roughly the same amount.



The ability for air cargo to move these perishable goods from one country to another quickly is a key driver of growth. In some cases, it is cheaper to harvest and ship produce via air to a country than it is to grow the produce in a temperature-controlled greenhouse in the destination country, reported Washington, DC's Airline Geeks.



China is a prime example of this trend. A decade ago, Chinese consumers used to eat produce that was in season in China. But with the growth of disposable incomes there is rising demand for year-round produce availability.



For example, red cherries, popular for Chinese New Year in January and February, are out of season during that time. It's not a problem anymore, they can just be flown in from Chile and on the shelves of Chinese supermarkets within two days of being picked halfway across the world.



Chinese per-capita disposable income has doubled in the past decade and it is being reflected in greater demand for finer goods. This is prompting air cargo providers to tailor offerings to better fit perishable cargo needs.



There is increased use of temperature-controlled containers and a greater focus on maintaining the cold chain at airports, for example, the temperature-controlled facility American Airlines operates in Philadelphia for pharmaceuticals.



Miami International Airport even offers an ocean-to-air programme that enables perishables delivered by ship from Latin American countries to be quickly processed by US Customs and loaded onto aircraft for speedy delivery to Asian and European markets.


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