Maersk has highlighted air cargo as a reliable alternative to ocean freight during the peak season.
In a market round-up, the company said that although the ocean freight market has shown improvement in recent weeks, challenges still prevail.
“Although the situation is improving across the ocean network and at ports in Europe, there are still several supply chain challenges that our customers are tackling,” the company said.
“Along with Golden Week, inflationary pressure, and lower consumer demand across the board, a series of service adjustments have been activated on Asia-Europe trade to balance the supply and demand.
“While product coverage will be impacted by these changes, the program will help improve terminal and schedule recovery, which have been the key barriers for global supply chains.”
Highlighting port strikes at Felixstowe and Liverpool as potential market disruptors, the company said that while the improvement in ocean freight conditions has reduced air demand slightly, the need for a reliable alternative is expected to remain high across Europe during peak season.
Looking at the overall airfreight market, Maersk identified volatility, with volumes trending down but rates remaining higher than 2019 levels due to jet fuel costs, lack of passenger/belly capacity, and the impact of the war in Ukraine.
The company added that consumer spending in Europe was affected by inflation reaching an all-time high of 9.1% in August.
“The future is uncertain as we move into the winter months,” Maersk said adding that “A European energy crisis is imminent according to experts, with the energy and chemical sectors set to be most affected. Russian and Ukrainian airspaces remain closed and there are no signs of when this will change.”