Malaysia to post 38% cargo growth for year

The combined volume of cargo at Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Penang International Airport is expected to reach 170,000 tonnes for the full-year 2010, compared with 124,286 tonnes in 2009, representing an increase of about 38 per cent. Penang Freight Forwarders Association president Krishnan Chelliah told StarBiz that for the 10 months of this year, […]


The combined volume of cargo at Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Penang International Airport is expected to reach 170,000 tonnes for the full-year 2010, compared with 124,286 tonnes in 2009, representing an increase of about 38 per cent. Penang Freight Forwarders Association president Krishnan Chelliah told StarBiz that for the 10 months of this year, the volume of cargo handled at both airports was 142,538 tonnes compared with 98,502 tonnes achieved in the same period last year. “The increase has to do with the robust growth experienced by the country in the first half. This shows that manufacturers of electronics products and perishable goods such as food and agricultural items are producing in full force,” he said. Krishnan said air freight rates were presently maintained at between US$2.50 and US$3.50 per kg, depending on whether the destination is the US or Europe. The bulk of air cargo handled heads for the US, Europe and Australia. “Australia is buying a lot nowadays due to the strength of its currency,” he said. Krishnan said air freight rates were still high because there was not enough capacity as major airliners had yet to fully reinstate their freighters that had been parked in the downturn of 2008/09. “The economic and industrial activities in South Korea, China and Japan are still at their peak, which means customers in these countries are willing to pay airline carriers premium air freight rates to export to the United States and Europe. “But we are unlikely to see an increase in air freight rates in the next few months as we are approaching Christmas holiday, which is normally a slow period,” he added. Krishnan said due to the high air freight rates of premium carriers, many exporters were now turning to budget air carriers to transport their products within Asia. “The air freight rates of budget air carriers are about 15 per cent lower than the US$2 per kg quoted by premium air carriers,” he said.