Freight forwarder Crane Worldwide Logistics will in July launch charter flights between China and the US to combat ongoing issues in ocean shipping and tight capacity in air cargo.
The service will launch on July 2 using B747-400 freighter capacity between Shanghai and Rickenbacker International Airport, leaving on Fridays and arriving on Saturdays.
Crane’s chief sales officer Tim Zubradt explained that it had selected Rickenbacker due to the close proximity to the company’s Columbus warehouse and a one-day truck drive to major cities such as Chicago, New York and Washington.
He also pointed out that there was congestion at many major US hubs, with Rickenbacker serving as an alternative US hub for incoming cargo.
The service is launched as the ocean shipping industry continues to struggle with delays and reliability issues.
Zubradt said: “There has been much disruption in the cargo market from China, from container shortages, Covid-19 outbreaks such as in Yantian and the reduction in passenger flights that creates capacity shortages.
“Furthermore, capacity shortages place pressure on different elements of the supply chain such as inventory planning.
“Crane Worldwide determined that adding capacity from China to US would address our client’s challenges in the transportation of their goods from China and support their complete supply chain solutions by utilising our warehouse facility in Columbus and domestic trucking service to facilities throughout the US.
“This solution also adds transportation options into the Midwest and is a regular and reliable service for clients looking at a solution for their imports at this time.”
Meanwhile, consumer demand in the US continues to gather pace and inventories remain low, which has traditionally prompted the use of air cargo as companies look to quickly stock up before selling out.
“It is widely reported that consumer demand has increased exponentially in the US and therefore inventories are depleting due to increased demand,” he added.
“Having control over China-US capacity in 2021 is an important step forward for Crane Worldwide and our clients.”
Zubradt said that demand for the service had been “very strong”.
“Given the current environment, it is essential to plan ahead. We expect peak season to commence early in 2021,” he concluded.