There is a backlog of vehicles outside Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (DAC), which is undergoing a heavy construction work, high export demand and failing scanners. Due to the absence of scheduled flights, exporters were almost fully dependent on freighter aircraft, which are not operating regularly to the country. This has caused a congestion of cargo at the airport.
Cargo volumes at DAC, continued to see impressive growth, achieving its highest monthly throughput. Shippers are scrambling for air freight capacity amid severe port congestion in Bangladesh – leading to a backlog ahead of the peak season. The market is expected to “remain crazy” until at least November, warning that with the backlog increasing daily and the situation deteriorating, problems could multiply if carriers are still unable to get their passenger services back into full swing, while carriers have no plans to increase capacity. Many airlines are not interested in operating more B747 or 777 flights from DAC because of the operational challenges experienced there. They are focused on the smaller P2C flights instead, and forwarders are feeling lucky enough to secure charter capacity out of DAC without having to wait 7-8 days to get goods on a plane.
Air price is under great pressure and rates are continuing to rise. Capacity is also likely to be under greater pressure over the next months as online retailers utilise space in the run-up to Christmas and the automotive supply chain improves. The pressure on capacity and the subsequently inflated rate levels will not be subsiding in the immediate future. Ocean to air conversions are still prevalent. Additional transit cargo from China and Southeast Asia is also contributing to the tight capacity situation. Shipments bound for the US East and West Coasts are experiencing backlogs, especially for JFK, ATL, and ORD. Due to sustained high demand and limited capacity in the market, air rates are expected to increase further. Transit time is taking 3-4 days more than usual to EU and 4-5 days more to US.
Dhaka Airport ground handling are facing large backlogs and using off-airport facilities to manage the flood of cargo. They report 4-5 days of backlog at cargo village and export cargo cannot be tendered earlier than 2 days before departure as a result. Agents are failing to handover cargo on the projected flight due to huge queues at the scanning area. There is a shortage of all types of equipment, even for charter / freighter operations. The delay in the unloading of large shipments is causing a space issue at airports, while also slowing the total process of operations.
We continue to monitor the situation closely. Please contact our Customer teams with any enquiries relating to specific bookings.