In February 2013 Cathay Pacific Airways began the process of moving the handling of its cargo in Hong Kong from Hactl (Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals, which until that point handled about 75% of the cargo at HKIA ) to its own newly constructed facility. By October, the move was complete, and Hactl had lost its biggest customer and over one-third of its business.
Since then, Hactl has worked to acquire new customers, and this, along with an increase in cargo handled for existing clients, has put the company on a strong growth track. Hactl reported its March handle, adjusted for the loss of Cathay Pacific’s business last year, up 15.3% y‑o‑y to 164,000 tonnes. For the first quarter of 2014, Hactl’s adjusted handle was up 11.7% to 405,000 tonnes.
Hactl isn’t alone in seeing strong results in March. While it will be some time before all the major cargo players have reported their March statistics, early indications are that the demand growth that began in mid-2013 is not only holding, but accelerating. The chart at right shows March and year-to-date data for those big cargo carriers, airports, and handlers that have so far reported, and the news is almost uniformly good. Of the results that don’t appear particularly strong, most (Air France, IAG, and Delta) are a considerable improvement over the recent past. Only Lufthansa and Frankfurt are not showing increasing growth.