Q4 2023 Air Cargo Demand So Far Exceeds Last Year’s Levels

Q4 2023 Air Cargo Demand So Far Exceeds Last Year’s Levels

Average rates continue their gradual post-summer rise

Global air cargo demand in the fourth quarter (Q4) period so far has been stronger than tonnages in the equivalent period last year, and average rates have continued their gradual post-summer rise, according to the latest weekly figures from WorldACD Market Data.

Nevertheless, more than halfway through the market’s traditionally buoyant final quarter, there are few signs of a strong peak season, with demand patterns so far broadly mirroring last year’s disappointing Q4 and only moderately ahead in overall tonnage terms.

In essence, the improvement compared with last year is more a reflection of the unusually soft demand levels in Q4 last year, while this year it has held up slightly better.

One big difference compared with last year is a recovery of tonnages ex-Asia Pacific, compared with last winter’s soft ex-Asia volumes, while tonnages ex-North America and ex-Europe remain down, year on year (YoY).

Weekly analysis indicates that overall worldwide tonnages have remained broadly flat since the middle of October, with preliminary figures for week 46 (13 to 19 November) showing stable tonnages compared with the previous week and a +3% increase in global average rates, based on the more than 400,000 weekly transactions covered by WorldACD’s data.

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