Air freight rates continue to climb, with a strong peak season on the radar
Published on Thursday, 31 August 2017
Air freight rates are continuing their climb, with the sector enjoying back-to-back monthly increases and year-on-year growth.
In Drewry’s latest East-West Airfreight Price Index, rates were up 1.9% in July, compared with June, and up around 1.5% against July 2016.
â€œIn anticipation of a strong peak season, several forwarders have upped their capacity allocations out of Asia and have lined up charter capacity,â€ said Drewry. â€œWe expect airfreight rates to further grow in August.â€
Transpacific eastbound was the strongest lane, up 5% year on year to $3.83, a 2% rise over June, while westbound rates were up 4%, both year on year and against June’, to $1.69.
Carriers and gateways on both sides of the Pacific reported substantial growth, Cathay Pacific’s volumes up 14%, while Delta (19%) and United (17%) also saw significant upturns.
Similarly, Hong Kong, Shanghai and the US’s four largest cargo gateways all recorded a double-digit bounce in throughput, with Seoul (6.7%) and Tokyo (9%) trailing.
It wasn’t all good news though, as Asia-Europe traffic failed to make any headway and, in the case of eastbound trade, rates fell 1% month-on-month to $1.76 and 2% compared with July 2016.
That said, optimism remains, with IATA using its first-half analysis to remind the industry it had just experienced the best six-month period in seven years.
â€œThe resurgence in air freight demand over the past year or so has been set against a stronger global economic and trade backdrop; this is particularly evident in signs of growing order books for global manufacturers,â€ said IATA.
â€œIndeed, the new export orders component of the global purchasing managers’ index remains close to a six-year high and, crucially, above the notional 50-mark that indicates rising orders.â€
At current levels, IATA said, the increase would be consistent with year-on-year FTK growth in the region of 8% for the third quarter of 2017.
By: Alexander Whiteman