TOKYO: A report by Nittsu Research Institute and Consulting (NRIC), a subsidiary of Japan’s largest freight forwarder, Nippon Express Co. said that international air cargo trade in Japan will fall 4.5 percent in fiscal year 2015, representing the first annual decline for the nation’s airfreight volume in two years.
However, the 2.2 million tonne annual decline noted in the report is much less dire than the 5.4 million tonne shortfall that NRIC had originally projected. Air cargo exports for the fiscal year are predicted to drop 5.4 percent from FY2014, to 978,800 tonnes, while imports are projected to drop 3.7 percent during the same time frame to just over 1 million tonnes. NRIC had originally forecast a 6.4 percent decline in FY2015 exports and 4.4 percent drop in imported goods.
NRIC does see better times ahead for FY2016, with total international air cargo trade growing 1.3 percent, compared to FY2015, to 2 million tonnes, with increases in both imports and exports. The consultants projected a 1.6 percent rise in exports to 994,500 tonnes, with imports growing by 1 percent to 1.1 million tonnes.
The Japan Times News said that Japanese exports of farm and marine products are growing thanks to the expanded use of cool-chain delivery services. There is an abundance of Japanese produce, with each prefecture providing food that has its own regional characteristics. For example, there are at least 13 varieties of strawberries from five prefectures, according to the Agriculture and Livestock Industries Corp.
Japan Post, a mail delivery unit of state-owned Japan Post Holdings, has started overseas deliveries of chilled and frozen foods, which is a boost for the country’s air cargo market. The hope is that such service will be in even more demand should the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership be ratified.