Tonnage stabilises after quick Lunar New Year recovery

Global rates are currently down (28%) YoY at an average of $2.79/kg

Tonnage stabilises after quick Lunar New Year recovery

(Photo Credit: Air Canada)

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Global air cargo tonnage bounced back faster and more strongly this year in the initial weeks since the annual Lunar New Year holiday downturn, albeit to significantly lower tonnage and pricing levels than those of early 2022, according to preliminary figures from WorldACD Market Data.

"Figures for week 6 (February 6-12) show a small decrease (two percent) in worldwide tonnage compared with the previous week, which had seen a strong (+14 percent) rebound that took tonnage back to their pre-Lunar New Year levels. In the two-week period following the annual Lunar New Year holiday week, the recovery has been stronger and faster this year (+12 percent) than last year (+5 percent) with this year’s bounce back taking place within a week of the ending of the Lunar New Year holiday week."

Global average rates recovered slightly (+1 percent) in the two-week period whereas a slight decrease was observed last year. "Prices remain well below their level prior to Lunar New Year (-7 percent), similar to last year’s trend."

At a regional level, on a Wo2W basis, the post-Lunar New Year recovery in air cargo tonnage was most notable on intra-Asia Pacific (+41 percent) flows and inbound Asia Pacific traffic from Middle East & South Asia (+33 percent), North America (+25 percent) and Europe (+22 percent), respectively.

The most notable declines were recorded from Central & South America to North America (-11 percent), dropping back after the strong increase reported last week (+37 percent), and from Asia Pacific to Middle East & South Asia (-10 percent), a lane that had already recorded a strong decrease the previous week (-38 percent).

Year-on-Year story
Chargeable weight in weeks five and six was down 16 percent compared with the same period last year. Capacity has increased 15 percent YoY with positive developments from all regions including Asia Pacific related to post Lunar New Year recovery. "The most-notable increases were ex-Europe (+22 percent), ex-Africa (+19 percent) and ex-Middle East and South Asia (+16 percent).

Global rates are currently down (28 percent) from their levels this time last year at an average of $2.79 per kilo in week six despite the effects of higher fuel surcharges but significantly above pre-Covid levels.

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