Global Air Cargo Tonnages Show Signs of Weakening Trend: WorldACD

Global Air Cargo Tonnages Show Signs of Weakening Trend: WorldACD

Average worldwide rates however slightly increased by 1%

Flown air cargo tonnages unexpectedly softened in the last full week of the first quarter, following a brief period of stability since the end of the Lunar New Year holidays, although global average rates have remained stable with a slightly upwards tilt – especially outbound from Asia.

Whereas the end of a quarter often brings an uplift in air cargo demand, figures for week 12 (20 to 26 March) show a drop of -4% in worldwide tonnages, compared with the previous week and following several weeks of relative stability since mid-February, figures from WorldACD Market Data indicate. 

Comparing weeks 11 and 12 with the preceding two weeks (2Wo2W), overall tonnages decreased by -2% versus their combined total in weeks 9 and 10, accompanied by a +1% increase in capacity.

Whereas, average worldwide rates slightly increased, by +1% – based on the more than 400,000 weekly transactions covered by WorldACD’s data.

No Upswing in Air Cargo Demand at the Start of 2023: WorldACD

At a regional level, there are signs of a weakening development in air cargo tonnages between various markets, on a 2Wo2W basis, particularly flows ex-North America to Asia Pacific (-7%) and to Europe (-5%), and flows ex-Europe to Asia Pacific (-4%) and to North America (-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 +13%, westbound +5%).

While volumes have been declining in the last two weeks, on the pricing side average rates have continued to show a stable trend on a 2Wo2W basis from all regions, except Asia Pacific where rates have risen (+3%).

Year-on-Year perspective

Comparing the overall global market with this time last year, chargeable weight in weeks 11 and 12 was down -9% compared with the equivalent period last year.

Notable percentage decreases in tonnages year-on-year were ex-North America (-23%), ex-Europe (-9%), ex-Middle East & South Asia (-6%). Also ex-Asia Pacific the trend compared to last year was negative (-7%), despite recent positive developments from that region.

Overall capacity has jumped by +13% compared with the previous year, with double-digit percentage increases from almost all regions. Most-notable increases were ex-Africa (+22%), ex-Asia Pacific (+20%) and ex-Europe (+15%).

Worldwide rates are currently -32% below their levels this time last year, at an average of $2.75 per kilo in week 12, despite the effects of higher fuel surcharges, but they remain significantly above pre-Covid levels.

Read More: Global Air Cargo Tonnages Rebound While Average Rates Soften

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