Chicago's desperate Air freight service logistics service provider is adopting a series of new strategies to avoid increasing congestion, which has kept cargo at the O’Hare International Airport cargo terminal for more than a week.
Over the past 18 months, O’Hare’s freight volume has exploded as companies turn to air freight to import important personal protective equipment, replenish depleted inventory, and overcome disruptions in manufacturing and marine supply chains. The facility is short of personnel, and there is not enough space to quickly handle the mountain of cargo unloaded from the giant cargo plane. Since the new crown epidemic destroyed low-capacity passenger flights, large freighters have been dominant.
The freight management company said that the backlog is so serious that the warehouse stores rows of containers in the parking lot, and it may take 10 days to retrieve a batch of goods. Cargo trucks often line up for several hours to wait for cargo, and some local airlines refuse to obtain cargo from certain airlines.
The situation is so bad that a third-party logistics company actually planned a robbery of its own freight.
An executive of the company who asked not to be named told FreightWaves: “We will take out a truck from the factory and a forklift in the back. There are about six or seven people. We basically pay to go in and find our goods. It was dismantled, and then the trailer was moved out with a forklift.".
The teams must search the floor for pallets and cartons, some of which have bright labels in the place of origin.
"When you pay someone in cash, they will let you do it. This is the only way you can get the goods," he said.
According to data from the Chicago Department of Aviation, in 2020, O’Hare Airport’s cargo volume (by weight) increased by 14.8% to more than 2 million metric tons, and freighter flights increased by 25% to 30,399. Chicago is a major cargo hub in the central United States, and its international imports of wide-body aircraft have grown much higher than other large gateways.
The inflow of Air freight services has not slowed down this year. Cargo congestion has also occurred at other airports, but no airport has the same level of congestion as O’Hare Airport. As of June, international cargo flights at the airport increased by 17.8% year-on-year, and international cargo volume surged 46% to 871,000 metric tons.
A recent solution is that the freight forwarding company buys out a ULD by itself, and no longer transports it in bulk, and does not use the airline to put its own cargo and other customers' items on a ULD. Then the goods can be picked up by ULD soon after arriving at the destination airport, without waiting for the airline to tally the goods.
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