From air to sea: study reveals more about modal shift
The modal shift to ocean freight has cost the air cargo sector almost 2 percentage points of annual growth since 2000, and is set to continue at a moderate pace, according to research by the Seabury Group and the International Air Transport Association (Iata).
The study by the advisory services firm highlighted that airfreight's share of total global containerised or unitised cargo transported declined from 3.1% in 2000 to 1.7% in 2013. Around one third of this market share loss is due to the modal shift – in which a product that used to be shipped by air is now being conveyed by sea or surface transport. Commodity mix factors and value effects were the other main causes, the study identified.
The surveyed shippers and forwarders expect a moderate continuation of the shift to ocean freight over the next few years. In terms of industries, shipments from the automotive and electronics sectors were identified as most at risk of migrating from air to ocean freight in the future.