Those ongoing strikes in Hong
Kong are no Mickey Mouse affair, stranding thousands at
Hong Kong International Airport for a second day Tuesday, August 13.
The strikes that have plagued Hong Kong
for the past months get little resonance from the government, but citizens
of this special place will not be held back.
So no surprise, when all flights out of
Hong Kong from 4pm onwards on Monday were cancelled. As this is written
on Tuesday morning in New York City, flights were limping back into business
after thousands of anti-government protesters occupied the airport terminal
building, following another weekend of clashes with police.
The Hong Kong chaos deepens with that well-publicized
and 'keenly felt by business' tariff war between the U.S. and China.
The question is, what impact will all of
this have on the annual “Christmas Rush” when air cargo carriers
look to fill out a rather lackluster 2019 with some bellies and main decks
loaded with high value goods.
Morrow Roberson, a smart thinker about these things, whose Logistics Trends
& Insights began as a stream and now is a go-to torrent of useful
information in transportation, says, “At this time I do not see
the situation in Hong Kong impacting the Christmas rush.
“Delays in cargo are expected and
as such airlines and/or shippers may look to alternative airports to use
until the situation in Hong Kong is settled.
“However there will be a short-term
bump in cargo as shippers look to front-load ahead of the tariff deadlines
of September 1 and December 15.
“This impact will ultimately have
a trickle-down effect on the rest of the supply chain—warehousing,
truck and rail demand for domestic storage/transportation - all of which
will see spikes in rate increases.
Cathy is looking for a Merry Christmas but
she also advises stakeholders to think smart & plan ahead.
“It’s tough for companies, but
to mitigate such risk as much as possible is necessary, particularly in
a global environment.
“Risks are a part of the business
and need to factor into business practices as much as possible.
“Solution offerings such as Resilience360
can be beneficial for companies to understand risk impacts on their overall
“In addition, technology solutions
including forecasting tools and WMS and TMS will be beneficial to forecast/manage
inventory, warehousing and transportation needs.
“Lastly, supply chains should not
be considered static, but instead should be reviewed and tweaked on an
ongoing basis in order for risk management as well as from a competitive
standpoint,” ‘Go-To Cathy’ Roberson advises.
Earlier this month after Carrie Lam, Hong
Kong’s chief executive, said in her first public remarks that the
city “has become unsafe and unstable,” and that “a series
of extremely violent acts are pushing Hong Kong into very precarious circumstances,”
shippers can wonder what else is ahead.
Meanwhile any notion that the news going
forward might be good was swept away, as Hong Kong home base carrier Cathay
Pacific saw its profit report sink, and chief executive Rupert Hogg threatening
staff saying, “those who support or participate in illegal protests”
would face disciplinary action that “could be serious and may include
termination of employment.”
Disaster struck while all of that was going
on when somebody torched a cargo shipment pallet in what airport police
reported was deliberate arson over in the HKIA cargo area.
Flames seen billowing from a cargo shipment
bound for Taipei were quickly extinguished and a man was arrested, police