Bangkok Cargo Boom: Opportunities and Challenges

Written by Wiphawi Kaeothep
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2 minute read

The e-commerce boom has exploded since 2019, reaching over $500 billion annually. This growth happened despite limitations on airlines and their fleets. In Thailand, air traffic gradually recovered in 2021, with a steady increase in flights from 6,650 in August to 63,963 by December.

This surge in air travel, combined with rising exports and booming e-commerce, has created a demand for efficient and tech-savvy cargo forwarding. The rise of direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales further fuels this need. Strong supply chain management is crucial for retailers to track customer demand, inventory levels, and product movement throughout the entire supply chain.

Bangkok's Busy Hub

Bangkok's cargo station is a vital gateway in Southeast Asia. It acts as a transit hub, handling freight from various locations and connecting them to worldwide destinations. However, the station faces challenges due to the rapid growth, including:

  • Workforce shortages: There aren't enough workers to handle the cargo volume.
  • Equipment shortages: There's a lack of equipment to manage the increased cargo.
  • Terminal congestion: Terminals are overloaded due to an imbalance between incoming and outgoing freight.

Current Situation

Currently, two companies handle cargo for all airlines, including Thai Airways and Bangkok Flight Services (BFS). The situation began in 2023 at the Thai Terminal when a surge in transit cargo, mainly e-commerce goods, overwhelmed their capacity. This caused congestion and missing shipments.

In early 2024, due to the Red Sea crisis and Chinese New Year, a shift to air freight caused similar issues at Bangkok Flight Services. To manage the backlog, they implemented an embargo until mid-February.

Long-Term Solutions

The Thai Transportation Ministry is urging terminal operators to improve efficiency and is exploring a third terminal, potentially operated by Airports of Thailand Ground Aviation Services (AOTGA). This could improve ground handling services and cargo handling capacity.

Expeditors: Your Supply Chain Partner

Expeditors offers solutions to navigate these supply chain challenges. We have a RA3-certified free zone warehouse in Bangkok, conveniently located near customs and airlines (Thai Airways and BFS). Our global network and carrier partnerships go beyond just freight arrangements. We can also provide temporary storage to minimize the impact of terminal congestion and ensure minimal disruption to your supply chain.

This article was co-authored by Wiphawi Kaeothep and Porntip Pattaramangkorn

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Blog was originally posted on March 26, 2024 7 AM

Topics: Logistics, Cargo

Wiphawi Kaeothep

Written by Wiphawi Kaeothep

Wiphawi Kaeothep started her career with Expeditors as an air export operation and customer services agent in 2013. She was promoted to Air pricing supervisor to handle Air Freight bidding and rate inquiries by 2016 and further became a former of district pricing to support Air & Ocean services, manage RFQ-related activities, including design pricing strategies. In 2022, she took up another challenge as a Bangkok Air Gateway Manager, overseeing the air-free zone warehouse and air cargo reservation as she had a solid air freight background. She leads the team to elevate warehouse efficiency and develop free zone warehouse capacity in mid-2024. Wiphawi also holds Air and Ocean DG certificates, Python for Data Science, and IATA certificates.

2 minute read