High quality perishables in demand


Changing demographics and growing incomes across the Asia Pacific region have stimulated demand for high quality perishables growing year-on-year for Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Cargo (CPC).

During 2015, it recorded increased perishable volumes moving from the Americas, Europe, Australasia and Japan into the region, and China in particular. Goods ranged from fresh fruit and vegetables to live seafood and chilled meat.

CPC general manager for cargo sales and marketing, Mark Sutch says expectations for 2016 are that air movement of perishables into the region will continue to grow despite uncertainties with the Chinese economy.

“One of our biggest challenges is to provide a smooth cold chain process to keep perishables fresh throughout the air journey so as to maximise their shelf life,” he explains.

“The strength of perishable movements depends on a number of factors, the weather being a major factor, as it affects both quality and quantity of perishable produces. Other factors include purchasing power amongst countries, currency fluctuations and government policies.”

The next three to four years will see a phased implementation of a free trade agreement between Australia and China and Sutch describes this as a “major catalyst” to expand perishable movements between the two countries.

He tells Air Cargo Week that CPC would continue to strengthen its perishable handling capabilities and would tailor customised logistic solutions to meet the specific requests and demands of customers between the continents.