China unveils cargo blueprint

In a bid to grow the competitiveness of China’s homegrown air cargo players, the country’s civil aviation authorities have laid out a blueprint aimed at strengthening domestic logistics and air cargo capabilities, including establishing one main cargo carrier within the top five internationally by 2013. Donald Urquhart reports.

At a recent air cargo summit in Beijing, one sentiment was repeated speaker-after-speaker, that being the fact that Chinese cargo carriers were losing out to foreign players when it comes to moving international cargo in China. Pointing out that the entire cargo capacity of Chinese carriers amounted to only 58 per cent of the total cargo capacity of just one European carrier – Lufthansa in this example – Professor Cao Yunchun of the Tianjin Civil Aviation University said foreign carriers were “swallowing up” the cargo market share in the country.

Prof Cao said that while the integrators – UPS, DHL, TNT and FedEx – were rapidly extending their reach in China combination and all-cargo carriers were also increasing their marketshare. Korean Air for instance, was experiencing its greatest growth in theChina market for the last few yearsrunning. “In Guangzhou Korean andMas Kargo have increasing flights outwhile Chinese carriers have seen theirmarket share decline,” he said.

He noted that the two carriers are also major players in the Hangzhou market, attracting cargo from Hangzhou, Ningbo and surrounding areas that used to be carried by Chinese carriers out of Beijing. “It is a big challenge to the Chinese air cargo industry,” Prof Cao lamented.