Forwarders confront European slowdown
Sea-air business involves transferring cargo, 90 percent of it garments and shoes, from deep-sea vessels at Jebel Ali port to aircraft departing Dubai International or Dubai World Central for destinations in Europe. Warehousing the products in Dubai while awaiting the final call from the retailer is rare, and the switch of modes usually takes place on a cross-dock basis within 24 hours.
Damco is receiving some requests for sea-air transport of high-tech products to South America, but the economic crisis is likely to keep European demand down at least through the first half of the year. This will continue to impact air transport, Tripet says. He expects the mixed-mode concept to bounce back as confidence returns to Europe, however, because the major global retail names are anxious to appear “green,” and sea-air emissions are 40-percent to 50-percent lower than from flying the shipments all the way.