Virus slows airlines from adding capacity, airfreight volatility increases

Pallets of freight offloaded an Emirates 777 passenger plane onto a hydraulic lift. The use of passenger planes as freighters is dictated by strong market economics.

The outlook for economic recovery and better health for airlines is more pessimistic and that’s bad news for manufacturers and other shippers seeing input costs rise due to higher transport prices in the COVID era.

Passenger airlines are reporting huge second-quarter losses, terminating employees and slowing the reintroduction of flights as the coronavirus flares up. Fewer flights means fewer transport options for shippers already facing a supply shortage, but full-freighter operators – and freig...

Transpac rates at new heights, but reviving blank sailings could muddy the water

Transpacific container spot rates to the US west coast have powered over the $3,000 mark to hit a record level of $3,167 per 40ft.
The US west coast component of today’s Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) soared 17% on the back of 1 August GRIs and is now 100% higher than a year ago.
The spot rate surge represents the highest SCFI reading for the west coast in the decade-long history of …

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UnCruise Adventures to start Alaska cruises

Small boat overnight operator UnCruise Adventures expects to start sailing Saturday in Alaska, a state that before the coronavirus pandemic was one of the hottest cruise destinations.

Occupancy on the 60-passenger, 156’x38’x6’ Wilderness Adventurer will be capped at 66% for the seven-night cruise. “Our crew is in Juneau preparing the boat, and we continue to work in lockstep with the state of Alaska and other health officials on health and safety for our guests and crew,” said spokesman Liz...

UPS pilots seek option to refuse Hong Kong missions

A white UPS plane with brown tail comes in for a landing above the tree tops. Some UPS pilots are concerned about COVID testing in Hong Kong.

The union representing UPS (NYSE: UPS) pilots has asked the express and freight delivery giant for the option to decline flight assignments to Hong Kong after the city tightened COVID screening requirements for aircrews.

The Independent Pilots Association (IPA) wants the company to extend to Hong Kong an arrangement that allows cargo pilots to opt in for routes to mainland China, spokesman Brian Gaudet said.

The voluntary program “has worked well for us in China,” he said. It provides UPS...