In spite of recent reports of a slowing of China’s economy, it appears likely that sales of electronic goods, particularly Apple’s iPhone 6, will fuel a robust peak season this year.
Pre-orders for Apple’s latest phone topped four million on the first day it was released, 9 September – double the pre-orders for iPhone 5. Analysts at brokerage firm Janney Capital Markets estimate that sales for iP6, built in Foxconn factories in Shenzhen and Zhengzhou, could reach 60 million units by 1Q 2015.
This demand is already resulting in increased air freight activity. Air France-KLM said it would resume twice-weekly 747-400ERF service to the Shanghai market in late September, while Cargolux, after adding a third weekly frequency from Amsterdam to Zhengzhou, added a second weekly 747-8F frequency to the cities of Beijing and Xiamen.
Enno Osinga, vice-chairman of The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA), told the South China Morning Post that iP6 will be a “massive boost” for the industry. “Last year, in November we had a boost from both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, and that lasted for three months,” he said.