Whether or not US apparel and footwear importers feel the full sting of tariffs, the speed-to-market pressure because of e-commerce demands and shorter fashion cycles won’t let up. Throw in historically low trans-Pacific ocean carrier reliability and challenges in getting imports out of port terminals and onto truck or rail, and that’s the fabric of logistics frustration.

Containerized apparel volume is growing despite some importers saying they are increasingly turning to air cargo services via the bellies of passenger jets or even freighters. Expedited trans-Pacific services from Matson and APL can help, and the guaranteed delivery features of both carriers’ products can bring some peace of mind.

Still, air cargo is becoming a larger part of shippers’ transportation portfolio. “We are going to reasonably increase the use of air freight from Q2 [the second quarter] as part of the mitigating impact of supply chain shortages in Q1,” Harm Ohlmeyer, Adidas chief financial officer, told investors during a first-quarter earnings call on May 3. Read More