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Air freight prices 'outrageous' as COVID-19 shots rolled out, says WHO expert

24 Comments
By Stephanie Nebehay

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No surprise. Corporations do what's good for them. Period. People can die, but the most important thing to them is that their executives get their million-dollar bonuses.

Didnt Narita slash its operating fees for airlines just recently, while govts are pouring billions into them to prop them up?

Maybe it's time we nationalized the airlines. Like Singapore Airlines, which is awesome.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

I worked air cargo for years, the owners lived for disasters. Throughout the suffering and destruction, there was profit.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Disgusting but the last to throw a stone is the WHO with the entire staff profiteering on to high salaries, cost businesses class travel, 5 star hotels, expenses etc.. in normal times. And when it mattered it completely screwed up with the president flying to Beijing where there was no virus to pick up his suitcase( the envelopes were too small) and come back to lie to the world for months. When they did go back the virus in China was as good as gone and all possible evidence destroyed. Close it down

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Still waiting for the post office to restore their international post, especially EMS

Right Zichi !

My deliveries from US Amazon are taking under 10 days. Meanwhile, the 5 cans of tuna I had to send freight over a month ago to my Mom (US tuna sucks) is still traveling.

By the way, we went with .15 polyethylene sheeting under the house and up the walls.

invalid CSRF

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I've already used EMS once or twice this year. Maybe it depends on the country. And I had an Amazon US delivery in the summer and it took less than two weeks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good old price gouging, the dark side of economics.

sort of $105 a kilo

Sort of? Either it is or isn't. What age are you, 11?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The only Japan Post Office mail to America is surface mail taking 2-3 months. FedX and UPS too expensive.

That is not true, I just sent a parcel to the U.S. from Tokyo and it arrived in 5 days.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

FedX and UPS too expensive.

Yeah, it's mad at the moment. Having to rely on the sea mail for some stuff, which is cheap, but obviously slow.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I frequently use the iHerb website and get goods from America in 4 days. Also shipping is free from the U.S. to Japan.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

@zichi

The only Japan Post Office mail to America is surface mail taking 2-3 months. FedX and UPS too expensive.

This shipping nightmare for the past 8 or 9 months has been annoying. All the others shippers know that JPost isn't shipping internationally and now charge an arm and a leg. DHL is still pricey but its slightly cheaper than the others.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Freight charges have indeed skyrocketed since April this year, they are ALWAYS high in the fall due to Xmas etc, the pandemic & the fact few passenger flights are operating is why the costs are so high, it sucks but we really shouldnt be surprised at this.

Most airlines are bleeding badly even if they are getting high rates for cargo, the only ones racking it up are the ones ONLY operating freighters. Also need to remember that was a lot of PPE cargo that had to be flown on these freighters which made space again even tighter.

Air cargo is always pretty busy from Japan to the US but much less so US to Japan(even now) that is why things can be flown from the US but difficult from Japan(which also has lots of transit cargo from China & Asia).

Right now ocean freight is a total mess worldwide, frequently change schedules with NO notice, ports are skipped. Containers are plenty in one port scarce at others. There is basically NO SPACE from Japan to the US on vessels now, none are accepting any bookings for the rest of the year

As for the Sierra Leone, Freetown example again not surprised at all, I would expect it to be higher in fact, sure they can fly the freight 2]\3 of the way but that last leg into Freetown there is likely only one maybe two airplanes making that run a few times a week, likely with NO PASSENGERS, also dry ice shipments are Dangerous Goods so depending on quantity may or may not be allowed on passenger aircraft.

And when vaccines do start flying we will find there are shortages of reefer containers that can meet temp requirements, also when airplanes land refrigeration is needed & I know there is no where near enough at Narita to handle any kind of volume of this kind of freight. And airlines need to factor in any investments in containers, extra warehousing, refrigeration etc that will only be needed for the short term so WHO will pay for that.....

I could go on but you get the picture, airfreight will be expensive & so will the costs for handling vaccines once they start shipping......

2 ( +3 / -1 )

No big secret or conspiracy here. Air freight has been extremely constrained since COVID-19 hit, shutting down almost all passenger flights. High demand for PPE made it worse. Christmas season only makes it more difficult, and with all of the online shopping this year it's probably more constrained than ever. Now add potentially billions of doses of vaccines that must be stored in extremely specific conditions. Something has to give.

If you want the government to force private companies to prioritize shipping vaccines, at cost, then that's fine with me. But we have to be realistic about the situation as well.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"I just had a quote from a cargo (company) - a big one that shall remain nameless - Dallas (Texas) USA to Sierra Leone, Freetown - at sort of $105 a kilo, which is outrageous actually," he said. The "normal price" would be $4-$6 per kilo, he said.

$105 for a kilo from Dallas Texas to Sierra Leone - that's about right. $4 to $5 per kilo for airfreight? Hahaha, someone please sign me up! That's all I needed to read of this article to know how inaccurate it is.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Virtually every modern nation has military planes comparable to the American C-130. If commercial flights are not available to do the job, then the military should be tasked with delivering the vaccine.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In June I had to send a tiny package weighing just 30 grams to Australia. Post-office didn’t accept mail for Australia, so contacted Fedex/DHL/UPS. Cheapest quote was about 10500 Yen (US$98). Thought that was akin to theft. Then somebody mentioned that the local takkyubin companies also mail overseas. Kuroneko Yamato shipped it for 2650 Yen. Still expensive, but bearable.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Virtually every modern nation has military planes comparable to the American C-130. If commercial flights are not available to do the job, then the military should be tasked with delivering the vaccine.

The one time I flew a C-130 it was from California to Hawaii. The fight took something like ten hours. Hercs are achingly slow airplanes and they vibrate like nothing you have ever flown in. Because I was traveling on orders I had to wear a working uniform with polished hard soled low quarter shoes. When walking on the cargo deck the vibration buzzed my inner ear and teeth. If I had been able to wear my flight boots with their thick rubber soles it would have been more comfortable. Hercs don't have the range to do many routes without stopping to refuel. They are probably ok for regional use and I expect they will be so used in many places However we are stuck with using commercial air freighters for moving the vaccine across long distances.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan Post EMS buys space on regular passenger flights to move cargo. Their freight is loaded into containers and placed in the belly of commercial passenger flights along with lots of other companies cargo and the passengers luggage. Nations that have heavy restrictions on commercial air travel therefore have fewer flights are not being fully serviced by Japan Post EMS. Mail and some small packages can still go through but not larger packages. You are stuck for now either using surface shipping (and hope your package wasn't among the 1800 or so that fell off a big container ship last week in a Pacific storm !) or you use DHL and pay out the hooter.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

With so many airlines storing airplanes and furloughing their crews one would think there should be a way to get these airplanes up and flying again to move the vaccine. Just a thought ....................

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That is not true, I just sent a parcel to the U.S. from Tokyo and it arrived in 5 days.

With the Japanese post office?

Could be if the package is small enough. I just received a small package from an eBay seller in Japan that arrived in a similarly short period of time by Japan Post.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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