DB Schenker increases charter schedule between mainland China and Europe


DB Schenker is increasing its charter schedule between mainland China and Europe in response to continuing strong outbound ex-China demand, which “remains on a very high level for the third consecutive month”.

In an advisory note to customers yesterday (19 May), the German forwarding and logistics group said it was adding a third weekly B47-400F flight in cooperation with Icelandair, departing from Nanjing to Munich and supporting “the critical supply of PPE material for European destinations”.

DB Schenker underlined that the new operation from Nanjing “will allow for an improved handling process due to airport warehouse congestions at Shanghai airport terminals throughout the last couple weeks”.

In addition to this new solution, DB Schenker is now connecting Europe twice a week with Australia through its new flight operations via Chicago, the company added.

In addition to the Europe-China-Europe service, DB Schenker is also operating scheduled charters on the following routes: Hong Kong-Europe, China-US, Europe-US-Europe:
US-Australia and Europe-India-Europe.

Earlier this month, DB Schenker began a programme of at least 45 cargo flights linking Shanghai, Munich and Chicago, using three B767 passenger aircraft from Icelandair.

China airport congestion

As reported today in Lloyd’s Loading List, the latest air freight market update today from forwarding and logistics group Agility, based on data from Seabury, highlights that airport congestion is slowing the growth of China’s outbound freighter capacity. Among those airports most affected by congestion are Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) and Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport (CKG), Seabury said, with other Asian airports not as severely affected.

According to Seabury, overall global air cargo capacity is currently around 28% below the levels for the same week in 2019. Transpacific cargo capacity is “flat” compared with last year, but capacity between Asia and Europe remains 10% below 2019 capacity levels.

Seabury says North America-Latin America capacity is nearly back to 2019 levels, with outbound Latam-North America freighter capacity compensating partly for the loss of widebody belly capacity, which is down 80% from 2019 levewls, Seabury said.

Global widebody belly capacity remains 75% below 2019 levels, despite a 10% increase over the previous week, Seabury estimated, with widebody belly capacity increases driven by increases in the number of active aircraft – with B777-300 and B787-9 aircraft the most popular passenger freighters being introduced – and higher utilisation rates of aircraft. 

It estimated that global freighter capacity is currently around 13-19% higher than the same week in 2019, with freighter capacity “close to maximum” and freighter utilisation rates reaching “record highs”.