Soaring jet fuel prices have led to speculation that aircargo users might begin migrating to lower-cost ocean service. But up until recently, there hasn't been much in the way of confirmation. Now comes word that one of the world's biggest users of airfreight services is indeed opting for the water route. Hewlett-Packard Co. reportedly is shifting some of its intercontinental shipments from air freight to ocean to mitigate the impact of jet fuel prices and the generally higher costs of moving goods by air.
According to a well-placed carrier source, HP is in the process of a strategic shift from air to ocean transportation for its so-called "support products," like printers and keyboards. Higher-value goods such as computers will continue to move by air because of worries about inventory obsolescence, the source says.
Given the electronics giant's high volume of international shipments, HP's move could affect capacity and pricing in both the air and ocean service markets. HP declined to comment on the report.