SE Asia booming for Cathay Pacific, trade tensions may boost demand

Cathay Pacific Cargo B747F
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Southeast Asia is booming for Cathay Pacific Cargo with North America and the intra-Asia trade lanes currently the strongest performing sectors for the Hong Kong-based carrier, a situation which may see added demand as a result of US-China trade tensions.

“Southeast Asia has been enjoying something of a boom over the past month or so,” says Siddhant Iyer, regional head of Cargo, South East Asia for Cathay Pacific in the carrier’s latest news update.

Siddhant Iyer Cathay Pacific Cargo
Siddhant Iyer

“I’m delighted to report that we have been hitting some records for cargo revenues and we are hoping to end this month with a few more,” he adds.

This is both a reflection of the annual year-end peak season and also the carry’s focus on handling tailor-made specialist cargo solutions for exports including electronic goods and a wide range of perishables, Iyer says.

“We have a good mix of commodities shipping out from the region, including electronics from Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand, perishables from Vietnam, Philippines and Thailand, aircraft engines and garments from Cambodia, Indonesia and Vietnam,” Iyer highlights. “Handling special products is our strength and it will remain our focus.”

But the good news is tempered by what Iyer highlights as the ongoing challenge of declining yields. “Differentiating e-commerce from general cargo is another challenge,” he says, “and we would like to provide a customer-centric solution for the e-commerce demand that we are experiencing.”

As to whether the much discussed issue in the industry of business shifting from mainland China to Southeast Asia due to the recent escalations in the US-China trade dispute, Iyer, hedges, saying: “It may result in increased demand and we are following the situation very closely.”

“We are keeping a close eye on the trade negotiations between mainland China and the US as it may have an impact in South East Asia. Besides that, we will keep looking to the long term by focusing on efficiencies we can make by investing in technology and working towards a paperless future,” he adds.

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