Air cargo service works to improve customer experience as capacity continues to increase post-pandemic.

Cathay Cargo’s commitment to its customers has been the driving force behind a number of service improvements for fresh produce exporters.

Cathay Cargo fresh produce airfreight shipment

Nigel Chynoweth, regional head of cargo south west Pacific, says the company and the wider airfreight sector are still on the road to recovery following the significant disruption of the pandemic. However, a full return to normal is on the horizon and in welcome news for exporters, prices have dropped from their pandemic peaks.

“While overall rates have decreased, certain origins and destinations remain restricted, and as a result, rates in those specific lanes are still relatively high,” notes Chynoweth.

“Regarding cargo, we expect to return to about 85 per cent of pre-pandemic cargo flight capacity by the end of 2023. We will continue to rebuild our cargo capacity in 2024.”

Australia and its horticulture sector are a key customer base for Cathay Cargo. Exporters can leverage their geographical advantage and use airfreight to supply customers in Asian markets in hours instead of days.

Chynoweth says Cathay Cargo’s Australasian services are tracking in the same direction as the global recovery.

“Cathay Cargo has returned to regular levels in Sydney and Melbourne. However, Auckland, Brisbane and Perth currently operate at 70 per cent capacity,” says Chynoweth.

“By increasing our flight frequency to four flights per day in Sydney and three flights per day in Melbourne, we are offering more options for delivery and uplift. This strategic move aims to minimise transit time for perishable commodities being airfreighted, ensuring efficient and timely transportation.”

Chynoweth says the service recovery has been welcomed by Australian exporters who have had a more positive 2023.

“It’s noteworthy that the overall volumes of perishable shipments have experienced a significant increase in 2023 compared to the previous year. The improvements in growing conditions and soil quality resulting from the preceding years of rainfall has led to a substantial enhancement in export quality and total volumes,” he says.

Customer care

In recent years Cathay Cargo has added several new features to improve the experience for its customers.

Chynoweth says the company’s online booking platform provides instant feedback which is crucial for a time sensitive sector such as perishables.

“Over the past few years, we have implemented the Click & Ship online booking platform, enabling perishable agents to receive instant confirmation for their bookings,” he says.

“With international orders arriving overnight and perishable agents commencing their work early in the morning, this platform allows them to book confidently with Cathay Cargo.”

Traceability is another vital consideration for fresh produce exporters and Cathay Cargo allows its customers track the journey of their consignments.

“The Cathay Cargo website provides comprehensive traceability for shipments at the air waybill level, allowing users to track their cargo from the moment it is lodged into our care until it is collected at the destination,” says Chynoweth.

In addition to investing in its services, Chynoweth says Cathay Cargo is also upgrading its physical assets including expanding its fleet.

“With substantial investment in cutting-edge cargo terminals, enhanced digital communications for improved shipment transparency, and the recent addition of a dedicated Cargo Customer Care Department, we’re committed to leaving no stone unturned to turn this vision into reality,” he says.


For more coverage on Cathay Cargo read the upcoming December/January edition of Asiafruit Magazine here.