Weakening airfreight trend continues


Global airfreight tonnages continued to soften in the last two weeks, with average global rates also dipping slightly last week, amid a broader pattern of overall tonnage and yield stabilization on a slight and slowing downwards trajectory.

Comparing weeks 12 and 13 with the preceding two weeks (2Wo2W), overall tonnages decreased by -2% versus their combined total in weeks 10 and 11, and average worldwide rates decreased by -1%, with capacity more or less stable – based on the more than 400,000 weekly transactions covered by WorldACD’s data.

At a regional level, the weakening development in air cargo tonnages continues between various markets, on a 2Wo2W basis, particularly flows ex-North America to Asia Pacific (-8%) and to Central & South America (-6%), and flows ex-Europe to Central & South America (-8%) and to Middle East & South Asia (-5%). Demand on the big lanes from Asia Pacific to North America and Europe remained broadly stable, while notable increases were recorded on the flows between Middle East & South Asia and Asia Pacific (eastbound +26%, westbound +5%).

Average rates continue to show a stable trend on a 2Wo2W basis for Asia Pacific, and an increase for Middle East & South Asia (+2%). For all other regions the average rates are declining.

Year-on-Year perspective

Comparing the overall global market with this time last year, chargeable weight in weeks 12 and 13 was down -8% compared with the equivalent period last year, consistent with an average -8% year-on-year decline recorded throughout March. Notable percentage decreases in tonnages year-on-year were ex-North America (-24%), ex-Europe (-7%), ex-Middle East & South Asia (-7%). Also ex-Asia Pacific the trend compared to last year was negative (-4%), despite recent positive developments from that region.

Overall capacity has jumped by +12% compared with the previous year, with double-digit percentage increases from almost all regions, except Central & South America, and North America. Most-notable increases were ex-Asia Pacific (+25%), ex-Africa (+18%) and ex-Europe (+13%).

Worldwide rates are currently -34% below their levels this time last year, at an average of US$2.68 per kilo in week 13, despite the effects of higher fuel surcharges, but they remain significantly (+50%) above pre-Covid levels.