Market Letters

Airfreight Market Update 04/30/20

To Our Valued Customers:

The airfreight space capacity crunch continues as we head into the Chinese Labor Day holiday. The high demand for PPE items is expected through May and, as a result, rates are expected to continue its climb upwards. On a positive note, the Chinese government has loosened its export restrictions on medical supplies ultimately resulting in more products for front line responders.

So here is a shortlist of what we are seeing so far this week:

Price Hikes Continue: The space crisis deepens as carriers are repositioning equipment from normal flight rotations in order to service charter contracts. These flight cancelations are resulting in a backlog of cargo, delayed departures, and continued price increases. Market airfreight rates from China are in-between $18.00 -$22.00/kg and forecasts are naturally predicting that the Chinese Labor Day holiday will exacerbate both space and rate issue.

Demand for Chartered Flights Grows, as do the Risks: For the last month and a half, Shanghai Airport has been handling over 250 chartered flights per day. On April 10th, Chinese Customs announced order #53 which meant that all surgical and clinical supplies are subject to 100% box inspection and verification of documents. These inspections have led to the delay, or outright prohibition, of many shipments that were slotted for either entire chartered aircrafts or space within. As a consequence, any delayed/canceled shipments, which are contracted for such services, will most likely be subject to a “dead freight” penalty equal to the original shipment quote.

It is imperative that, prior to signing a charter aircraft contract, you have documents vetted, supplier verified, and enough lead time built into your departure date to allow for customs inspection.

We can help you – contact Thomas Marano at

Update on Available Laufer Services: Amongst the many traditional airfreight services, we currently have the following options available to help our customers with the ongoing space crisis:

  • Daily blocked space from PVG to JFK / LAX / ORD on a 777.
    • Dates: 05/09-05/16
    • Service via TJN/PEK.
    • Max 2500kg / 10 cbm per day.
  • Daily charter space from PVG to ORD on a MD11
    • Dates: 05/08, 05/15, 05/22, 05/29
    • Max 85,000kg / 480 cbm per day
  • Daily charter space from HKG-LAX/ORD on a 777
    • Dates: Daily (through end of May)
    • Max 45,000 kgs / 140 cbm per day
  • Daily charter space from PVG-ORD on a 777
    • Dates: 05/10, 05/12, 05/14, 04/16
    • Max 45,000 kgs per day / 140 cbm per day
  • On-time charter space specials
    • BJS to JFK: 05/09 (130 cbms currently still available)
    • HFE to ORD: 05/09, 05/13 (100 cbms currently still available)
  • Available Full Charters:
    • 747: HFE/TAO-JFK - Available May 13th
    • 777: PVG/CAN-JFK – Available 1st week of May
    • 777: CAN-ORD – Available 1st week of May
    • 747: HFE/CGO- ORD – Available within 7 days of signing contract
    • 747: PVG-JFK – Available within 7 days of signing contract
    • 777: CAN-LAX/SEA – Available 1st week of May
    • 777: PVG-LAX/SEA/JFK/ORD – Available within 7 days of signing contract

For any and all inquiries, please contact:

China Loosens Restrictions on PPE Exports: Until April 25th, manufacturers were only able to export medical supplies if they also held a domestic license. The purpose of this control was to ensure that the goods exported were of high quality. Essentially, having received a domestic license meant that quality standards were met. However, manufacturers felt that the process to obtain the license was too difficult and was preventing good product from reaching those in need. Moving forward, in effort to maintain quality, while not limiting the exportation of PPE goods, a Joint Declaration of the Exporter & Importer must be signed by both parties.

Hong Kong Enters Phase 2 x-Ray Requirements: Earlier this year, the Hong Kong Aviation Security Authority issued a new regulation calling for the 100% screening of all known cargo from shippers that have not been validated by the CAD. Implementation is a gradual process and May 1st marks the beginning of Phase 2, which is 40% of all applicable cargo must be screened. The cost for screening is $0.08/kg ($6.00 minimum) x current required screening percentage (e.g. $0.08 kg x 40% = $0.032 /kg).