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Hong Kong traders see better things ahead for airfreight: DHL survey

HONG Kong traders are optimistic about the airfreight outlook, following the inauguration of Joe Biden as the US president, which might ease tensions between China and the US, according to the latest DHL Hong Kong Air Trade Leading Index (DTI), a quarterly survey of more than 600 Hong Kong companies

01 February 2021 - 19:00
HONG Kong traders are optimistic about the airfreight outlook, following the inauguration of Joe Biden as the US president, which might ease tensions between China and the US, according to the latest DHL Hong Kong Air Trade Leading Index (DTI), a quarterly survey of more than 600 Hong Kong companies.

The survey was commissioned by DHL Express Hong Kong and compiled by the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC).



Overall air trade saw a slight increase from the previous quarter. Both air imports and air (re-) exports also saw improvements this quarter, with increases both observed in the Americas and Asia Pacific regions.



The survey results showed that with the Covid-19 pandemic still affecting many parts of the world, 41 per cent of air traders indicated that they have maintained a balance, 12 per cent reported a positive profit while 47 per cent recorded a loss in the previous quarter, reports London's Air Cargo News.



In addition, air traders resorted to cost-cutting, capital injection and digitalisation to cope with the pandemic in the past year. Two-thirds of them also believe that their business could benefit, should Hong Kong join the regional comprehensive economic partnership.



The electronic products and parts - as well as gifts, toys and houseware - index dropped after the festive season ended.



Indices for the apparel and clothing accessories and also for the watches, clocks and jewellery sector both saw improvements for two consecutive quarters, and were the only commodities recording notable growth in mainland China. The food and beverage index also inched up this quarter.



Market indices for the Americas, Asia Pacific and the rest of the world regions have increased in the first quarter of 2021, with the Americas being the best performing market recording a consistent upward trend. Only Europe has seen a decline, although there is a positive outlook in its shipment urgency.



Edmond Lai, chief digital officer of the (HKPC), said: 'The Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect people's life and economy globally. However, the rolling out of vaccines in regions and the relatively more optimistic view towards the China-US relations have made the market more positive on the outlook in air trade for the start of 2021, ensuring the overall index to go up continuously.



'As continuous digital transformation becomes a key point for doing business, enterprises should prepare themselves and be agile to tackle business challenges and capture new opportunities on any likely recoveries in the economy.


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