Penang Freight Forwarders Association (PFFA) honorary secretary-general Ali Ahmad said from January to September 2020, the volume of inbound and outbound cargo contracted by 26% and 1.4% to 23,893 tonnes and 48,440 tonnes from 32,328 tonnes and 49,140 tonnes, respectively, in the same period of 2019. GEORGE TOWN: The volume of outbound and inbound cargo handled by Penang air cargo industry is expected to dip by about 10% in 2020. In 2019, the industry handled 41,747 tonnes and 66,866 tonnes of inbound and outbound cargo respectively. Penang Freight Forwarders Association (PFFA) honorary secretary-general Ali Ahmad said from January to September 2020, the volume of inbound and outbound cargo contracted by 26% and 1.4% to 23,893 tonnes and 48,440 tonnes from 32,328 tonnes and 49,140 tonnes, respectively, in the same period of 2019. ”We had expected to handle 45,922 tonnes of imported cargoes and 68,872 tonnes of exported cargoes. We don’t think the target is achievable anymore because of the contraction over the nine-month period from January to September. ”The shipment of electronic components, which usually comprises about 70% of the cargoes, has contracted due to the cancellation of orders. “Previously, there were customers shipping out rubber gloves via air to reach their destinations on schedule. The shipment of rubber gloves via air freight has declined.” He added that the transhipment of cargoes that arrived failed to generate enough jobs to boost the volume of cargoes handled. Ali said that since October, there has been a pick up in the air shipment of electronic components out from Penang. “However, the volume exiting is still low. The feedback is that the pick up will gradually gain momentum in the first quarter of 2021. The need to deliver vaccines to Malaysia could play a role to stimulate the air logistic business, ” Ali said. Meanwhile, the air freight rates to Asian countries, which are badly affected by the Covid-19 coronavirus, have soared by over 100% since January. Ali said the rates were RM3 to RM6 per kg in January 2020 to ship cargoes to China, Japan and South Korea. “Because of the Covid-19 outbreak, the rates are now more than RM10 per kg. The rates to these countries are at all-time high, ” he added. On the other hand, the rates to the US remained unchanged at RM35-RM45 per kg, depending on whether the cargo is west bound or east bound. ”The rates to Europe are maintained at more than RM18 per kg, depending on whether the destination is in central or eastern Europe. “Due to the cancellation of flights and constraint of space to and from Malaysia, the rates shoot up, ” he added. Meanwhile, Pentamaster Corp Bhd chairman C.B. Chuah said the group shipped out more test equipment via air in the fourth quarter than the preceding period. ”We shipped out 10% more than the third quarter. The pick up should grow stronger in the first quarter of 2021, ” he added. About 60% of Pentamaster’s test equipment is shipped via air to customers in the US, Japan and China.
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