Tonnage drop deepens with European holiday season


The decreasing trend in global tonnages accelerated in the second full week of August, mainly driven by Europe in the midst of its holiday season, while rates remained stable or were even slightly positive, according to the latest figures from WorldACD Market Data.

Figures for week 33 (14 to 20 August) show a -5% drop in tonnages compared with the previous week, while average worldwide air cargo prices remained stable, week-on-week (WoW), based on the more than 400,000 weekly transactions covered by WorldACD’s data.

Comparing weeks 32 and 33 with the preceding two weeks (2Wo2W), overall tonnages dropped by -5% versus their combined total in weeks 30 and 31, while worldwide rates went up slightly (+1%) and capacity was slightly down (-1%).

READ: Air cargo tonnages fall further while rates hold firm

At a regional level, decreases in tonnages (2Wo2W) were down most strongly on flows ex-Europe (-8%) during the vacation period, most notably to Asia Pacific (-12%), North America (-8%) and Africa (-7%). Furthermore, flows ex-Middle East and South Asia were down by -6% overall, mainly to Asia Pacific (-8%) and Europe (-6%). Also, Asia Pacific showed a notable decrease of -5% overall, especially into Europe (-8%) and intra-Asia Pacific (-7%). Volumes dropped in both directions between Europe and Central & South America (-5% northbound, -9% southbound), and ex-North America into Central & South America (-8%). There was only one increase recorded, on flows ex-Asia Pacific to Middle-East & South Asia (+4%).

On the pricing side, average global rates increased slightly (2Wo2W), along with prices from the main origin regions. But there were some noteworthy increases in pricing on certain lanes, ex-North America to Asia Pacific (+6%) and ex-Central & South America to Europe (+5%).

READ: Rates stabilise globally while tonnages fall further

Year-on-Year perspective

Comparing the overall global market with this time last year, chargeable weight in weeks 32 and 33 was down -4% compared with the equivalent period last year (YoY), with double digit percentage decreases in tonnages ex-North America (-17%) and ex-Europe (-11%). However, notable increases were observed ex-Asia Pacific (+4%) and ex-Middle East & South Asia (+5%). Overall capacity has increased by +8% compared with last year, with capacity ex-Asia Pacific up by a noteworthy +23%. Other significant YoY capacity increases can be observed ex-Middle East & South Asia (+12%), ex-Europe (+7%), while a significant decrease was recorded ex-Central & South America (-7%). Worldwide average rates are currently -36% below their levels this time last year, at an average of US$2.29 per kilo in week 33, although they remain significantly above pre-Covid levels (+34% compared to August 2019).