Tonnages, average rates stabilise: WorldACD

Worldwide rates at an average of $2.81/kg are currently down 26% from last year

Tonnages, average rates stabilise: WorldACD
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Air cargo tonnages from Asia Pacific to Europe and North America bounced back strongly in the last two weeks from their Lunar New Year holiday lull with some signs of the worldwide market stabilising following months of demand and rate declines, says the latest update from WorldACD Market Data.

"After having reported last week that worldwide air cargo tonnages recovered faster and more strongly this year in the initial weeks since the annual Lunar New Year holiday downturn, we see now a continuing stabilising trend for both tonnages and the global average rate, albeit significantly lower than those of early 2022," the report said.

Data for week 7 (February 13-19) show a small decrease (2 percent) in worldwide tonnages compared with the previous week. "On the pricing side, global average rates remained completely stable compared with the previous week, although underlying regional trends can differ strongly, particularly related to Asia Pacific."

Comparing weeks 6 and 7 with the preceding two weeks (2Wo2W), tonnages are up 3 percent above their combined total in weeks 4 and 5, accompanied by a 3 percent increase in capacity whereas average worldwide rates went up by 2 percent based on the more than 400,000 weekly transactions covered by WorldACD’s data.

"At a regional level, on a 2Wo2W basis, the post-Lunar New Year recovery in air cargo tonnages was still very notable on ex-Asia Pacific flows to Europe (+29 percent), Middle East & South Asia (+29 percent) and North America (+22 percent), respectively. The most-notable decreases were recorded from Central & South America to North America (-22 percent) and to Europe (-14 percent), for a large part driven by the pre-Valentine’s Day flower export surge."

Despite volumes rebounding in recent weeks, on the pricing side, the average rate for flows originating in Asia Pacific have continued to show a negative trend, particularly on intra-Asia Pacific (-6 percent) and to Middle East & South Asia (-5 percent), the update said.

Year-on-Year perspective
Comparing the overall global market with this time last year, chargeable weight in weeks 6 and 7 was down 19 percent compared with the equivalent period last year. "Most notably, tonnages ex-Asia Pacific are down 36 percent, although this comparison is skewed because Lunar New Year started ten days later last year on February 1 compared with January 22 this year. There were also double-digit percent year-on-year drops in tonnages outbound from North America (19 percent), Middle East & South Asia (13 percent) and Europe (12 percent). Tonnages outbound Africa increased compared with the previous year (9 percent)."

Worldwide rates are currently 26 percent below their levels this time last year at an average of $2.81 per kilo in week 7 despite the effects of higher fuel surcharges but remain significantly above pre-Covid levels, the report said.

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