Available aircraft capacity, shaved to the bone at the depths of the recession, is colliding with a mini boom in trade to create a shipper's nightmare -- freight pile-ups at Asian airports.
It's the latest indicator that an economic and trade recovery is under way -- and not a moment too soon for global airlines that could lose $11 billion this year and ocean shipping lines that might lose double that amount. But is the recovery sustainable, or is the latest rally simply a case of shippers rushing their goods to market before the end of the year?
In this week's Journal of Commerce cover story expert voices and recent industry data point to indications that this is a sign of a larger recovery. Shipping activity in raw materials, project cargo and other categories support hopes of sustainability. However, before shippers' confidence to rebuild is restored, carriers will need to return to higher levels of capacity, and they plan to move forward on that very cautiously.
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