Consumer demand and cost of ocean freight drive air freight growth at EMA
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Aviation Minister Robert Courts MP described East Midlands Airport (EMA) as “a key enabler of UK trade”, during a visit as the bridge prepares for a festive cargo operation record.
The minister visited EMA’s cargo operations at the end of last week, one of the busiest nights of the year at the airport in the run-up to Christmas. Over one million individual items pass through the EMA every night this time of year, ranging from housewares, personal electronics and clothing to luxury cars, medical supplies and manufactured components.
Fall is peak season for airport freight, when increased demand is triggered by Black Friday and the approach of Christmas. However, the continued consumer preference for e-commerce, the rising cost of ocean freight, and the lack of hold capacity for cargo on passenger planes mean that East Midlands Airport freight operations are more in demand than ever.
If current trends continue, by the end of the fiscal year the EMA predicts that 470,000 tonnes of goods will have been processed at the EMA compared to 438,000 tonnes last year and 370,000 per year before the pandemic .
Companies increasingly depend on EMA-based air cargo specialists to meet the high and ever-growing demand for online shopping, which has been supercharged by the pandemic, as well as to support fair supply chains. on time across the UK.
In addition, container supply problems in Asia have made air freight more commercially attractive, especially given the speed with which goods can be transported by air. This has proven invaluable in the response to Covid, as urgent medical supplies are quickly shipped around the world to frontline healthcare providers.
The courts said: âOver the past eighteen months, air cargo has played a vital role in sustaining the country’s medical supplies and PPE.
âAfter spending time on the airfield at East Midlands Airport on one of its busiest nights, it’s clear that the 24-hour airport operation is a key factor in the business. British. The importance of this regional airport is also extremely beneficial in terms of local economic growth and job creation.
Clare James, Managing Director of East Midlands Airport, said: âIt was a pleasure to introduce the EMA to the Minister of Aviation last night at a time of year when everyone on site is working hard. hard to facilitate the UK’s largest express air freight operation. The past 18 months in particular have shown how important this airport is to maintaining trade in and out of the UK. At times during the pandemic East Midlands Airport was the tenth busiest in Europe as it remained open for business to allow frictionless movement of goods, including essential medical supplies and PPE during the lockdown. The EMA’s role as a global gateway for commerce is at the heart of the region’s Freeport bid, whose final business case is submitted to the government next month. “
East Midlands-based manufacturer SureScreen Diagnostics exports lateral flow tests via EMA to customers as far away as Australia. Having the airport on their doorstep proved invaluable during Covid.
David Campbell, Director of SureScreen, said: âDuring the pandemic, we had to react quickly, providing test kits to meet the needs of our customers around the world. The services provided by EMA have been essential in enabling us to support our customers with reliable supplies in 53 countries. EMA is invaluable to businesses like ours in the Midlands and across the country. “
Other drivers of air cargo growth include the lack of capacity on transatlantic passenger flights. Companies that relied on passenger aircraft hold space to transport goods will likely continue to use dedicated air cargo services until transatlantic passenger routes return to pre-pandemic levels.
While at the airport, the Minister of Aviation also spent time with RVL Aviation, based at the EMA, which operates a specialized aircraft on behalf of the Maritime Agency and the Coast Guard.