After eight months of ongoing labor slowdowns at west coast ports together with no immediate signs of resolution there has been a growing tendency for some of those with the most urgent shipments to explore the air freight options in the market. There are few places where this has been more noticeable than the operations for air cargo out of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
According to the Puget Sound Business Journal a sizeable percentage of residual air freight capacity has been taken up by customers looking to complete shipment of already overdue orders caused by the port delays. Air Freight companies have seen some additional business from the slowdown although the impact, to this point not officially studied, has probably not been as significant to the air freight industry as you might expect.
With that said Sea-Tac has seen a recent increase in the total weekly number of freight only aircraft operating from the critical Pacific Northwest hub airport. The results aren't broken down to include the specific contribution of cargo due to the port slowdowns but purely looking at the results from Sea-Tac shows a healthy 8.7 percent in air cargo tonnage to 318,332 tons in November 2014 when compared with the same month a year earlier.
It's unknown whether the dispute will last several more weeks or many more months but there's little doubt that the encouraging air freight results for 2014 have seen at least a small contribution from this delayed cargo needing to take to the air for timely arrival.
We'll be back later in the week and will also take a look at recent air freight results from other west coast cities, for questions about our services please call 1-800-247-3734 or for other comments please get in touch via the section below or our Twitter account or Facebook page.