Freighter flights serving the Chinese market look set to increase in the coming weeks in response to companies and factories in the world's second largest economy gradually getting back to work following an easing of restrictions related to the coronavirus outbreak.
However, industry sources warn that once production activity in China gains momentum again, there is a risk of “a cargo rush”, creating “a severe shortage” in shipping capacity and triggering spikes in rates.
In addition, the suspension of passenger flights to and from China, in many cases until at least the end of next month, remains a serious hindrance to postal traffic flows.
More cases of the virus, which causes respiratory disease Covid-19, continue to emerge, with outbreaks in South Korea, Italy and Iran causing concern. However, most infections are in China, the original source of the virus, where more than 77,000 people have the disease and over 2,600 have died.