Peyton Burnett on TAC Index new routes, developments

Payload Asia got a chance to talk to managing director Peyton Burnett as he shared the latest on TAC Index air freight rate indices.


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John Peyton Burnett, Managing Director of TAC Index and part of the jury panel for this year’s Payload Asia Awards

TAC Index recently added India to its growing list of air freight rate indices as it takes on a wider coverage for interested and concerned air cargo parties. Payload Asia got a chance to talk to managing director Peyton Burnett almost a month ago as he shared details on the newly published routes as well as the fixable nuisances that are all part of providing reliable data for stakeholders in the air freight industry.

Can you explain why these four new routes (or perhaps at least one) have been introduced?
We have recently updated the core systems of TAC Index and so we are now able to publish City Municipality origins and Country origins so these first few routes are essentially testing the new functionality built into the system.

Obviously we must reach thresholds before publication to be antitrust compliant. Our focus at the moment is to broaden our in order to cover more of the major trade routes. With supply chains moving into Vietnam from China, even though factory capacity is pretty much maxed out, it is an interesting market for TAC Index subscribers. Outbound US is also an interesting market for user.

Which industries or what are the factors driving the demand for these lanes?
We don’t capture this raw data at present but it is something we are working on. You see some supply chains moving out of mainland China into other Asian markets. Another interesting development is trade increasing from China into South America.

Can you describe the process of trouble shooting the bugs?
You may have noticed that we recently launched our new website and dashboard. We worked with a third party developer who resides in the same investor ecosystem as TAC Index.

We have had very positive feedback regarding the new customer experience. The project was delayed by 3-6 months as the lead programmer on their side developing our new dashboard caught Covid-19 and was hospitalized. A new development team had to be brought in and develop the code from scratch. We got there in the end, but it did impact the role out of new routes and products.

Will this affect the current interface ?
A system is never perfect when you launch, it just needs to be functional. We have identified and fixed most of the bugs post launch. Turn around for fixes have all been within 24 hrs for the most part.

How many in your IT team are working on it, and when is the target launch?
When we launch new routes, this more falls to our data team to implement. It actually takes quite a lot of time and effort to launch a new route as each data point needs to be analysed and tested; we may have up to 5 years of historical data on each route to test. Due to compliance issues, it is very difficult for us to change published historical data points hence the heavy testing and analysis pre-launch.

What would be your general forecast on capacity, rates as we head into peak season?
The word on the street is that it you haven’t sorted out your capacity requirements through to year end then you’re going to struggle.

I believe people are more looking to 2022 hoping the market moves back towards pre-Covid market conditions. Having said that, more dynamic price modelling has been introduced by the airlines into the market. It will be interesting to see is this acts as a bit of a counterweight to the market snapping back to pre-Covid market conditions. We will have to wait and see.

Again, I think there was an expectation that post vaccine rollout the passenger market would restart more quickly than is actually occurring especially with the new Covid-19 variants and governments flip-flopping on passenger travel rules.

How would you describe the air freight industry now (compared to pre-Covid) and where is it headed?
I touched upon this above. Capacity is tight and will remain so through to year end. Some carriers are trying to restart that long haul passenger networks and this has meant pulling of peighters from cargo gateway origins onto prime passenger routes. These cargo gateways not served by passenger planes typically will struggle through to year end.

Updates on TAC Space?

Closed Beta will start soon. If parties wish to register for the closed Beta access then please contact us to register for access.



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