TOKYO — Leading Japanese freight forwarder Kintetsu World Express has begun scheduled charter flights that carry freight from Southeast Asia to the U.S., betting that automobile production will pick up as the global chip shortage eases going forward.
Cargo from Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia is first brought to South Korea’s Incheon airport and the Dubai airport in the United Arab Emirates before flown to the Rickenbacker airport in the U.S. state of Ohio on KWE’s chartered flights. The destination airport in the city of Columbus is relatively close to Chicago. The service, scheduled four times a week, started this month.
KWE piloted a similar service in March and saw strong demand. Previously, other forwarders have offered charters from Southeast Asia as one-off services, resulting in persistent transport capacity shortages.
With the coronavirus pandemic grounding international passenger jets and maritime shipping facing delays, global logistics continues to face uncertainty. The anticipated pickup in shipments of automotive materials is sure to deepen the capacity crunch, and “this situation will not be resolved anytime soon,” said a KWE representative.