Worldwide average rates are currently 28% below their levels this time last year at an average of $2.38 per kilo
Global air cargo tonnages and rates appear to have stabilised after recovering from China’s National Day Golden Week in early October, according to the latest weekly figures from WorldACD Market Data.
There are no clear signs yet of any significant fourth quarter (Q4) peak season despite anecdotal reports from some freight forwarders of a slight seasonal tightening of the market,
Preliminary figures for week 42 (October 16-22) show a one percent increase in tonnage and in global average rates compared with the previous week, based on the more than 400,000 weekly transactions covered by WorldACD’s data. “That follows a four percent week-on-week (WoW) increase the previous week following a six percent drop during the first full week of October, corresponding with China’s Golden Week holiday break.”
Comparing weeks 41 and 42 this year with the preceding two weeks (2Wo2W), overall tonnages, worldwide rates and also capacity increased by one percent versus their combined total in weeks 39 and 40.
The biggest percentage increases in tonnages were found on flows to Asia Pacific from Europe (11 percent) and Middle East & South Asia (eight percent). Declines in tonnages (2Wo2W) were recorded most strongly on flows outbound from Europe to, respectively, Africa (eight percent), Central & South America (eight percent) and Middle East & South Asia (seven percent).
Rates increased on flows ex-North America to Asia Pacific (seven percent), and ex-Europe to North America (five percent) and Africa (four percent). Declines were recorded ex-Middle East & South Asia to Asia Pacific (four percent), ex-Africa to Europe (four percent), and ex-North America to Europe (three percent).
Year-on-year perspective Comparing the overall global market with this time last year, chargeable weight in weeks 41 and 42 was down just one percent compared with the equivalent period last year, one of the smallest year-on-year (YoY) declines recorded in 2023.
Overall capacity has increased by 12 percent compared with last year as passenger air services continue to return to the market with capacity ex-Asia Pacific up by 34 percent. Worldwide average rates are currently 28 percent below their levels this time last year at an average of $2.38 per kilo in week 42 although they remain significantly above pre-Covid levels (33 percent compared to October 2019), the update added.