Global air cargo tonnage and prices continue decline

Photo: Lufthansa Cargo

Global air cargo flown tonnages and prices continued their gradual decline in the first two weeks of August after volumes staged a brief and partial recovery in the second half of July, the latest figures from WorldACD Market Data reveal.

Looking at week 32, worldwide chargeable weight decreased 5% compared with the previous week, and the average worldwide rate decreased slightly, based on the more than 350,000 weekly transactions covered by WorldACD’s data and analysis of the main international air cargo lanes.

Read more: General air cargo market drops 9% in July versus 2021

Comparing the last two weeks with the preceding two weeks, average worldwide rates decreased 1%while chargeable weight decreased 5%, at a capacity increase of 1%. That further small slip in average prices continues a trend of week-on-week small declines that has seen rates drop more than 4% since the last week of June and by 10% since the end of May.

On the tonnage side, chargeable weight from Africa to Europe and vice versa are on a particularly negative trend, with a decrease of 14% and 10%, respectively, in the first two weeks of August compared with the preceding two weeks. Europe outbound volumes are also showing a negative trend to all regions, with an overall average decrease of 7% on a 2Wo2W basis, and a 5% year-on-year (YoY) decrease.

Europe’s inbound volumes from the all-important Asia Pacific region were also down significantly (8%) in the first two weeks of August compared with the preceding two weeks. Asia Pacific outbound volumes as a whole were down 5% on a 2Wo2W basis, including a 3% drop to North America, with Asia Pacific outbound volumes down 19% compared with the same period last year.

Read more: Air cargo tonnages and rates are both stabilising

Taking a longer-term perspective for the overall global market, the last two weeks showed a worldwide rate increase of 8% compared with last year, despite a chargeable weight decline of 11% and a capacity increase of 8%. Higher fuel surcharges continue to influence overall air cargo prices relative to their levels last year. Although jet fuel price levels have softened in the last few weeks, they remain around 80% higher than this time last year.

To put the current level of air cargo rates in an even wider perspective, last week’s average yields of $3.60 per kilo are more than double their pre-pandemic levels in July 2019 ($ 1.75) and August 2019 ($ 1.71).