Air freight rates on the rise in lead-up to peak season

Drewry’s latest East-West Airfreight Price Index indicates that market momentum for airfreight is carrying into the summer of 2017 as demand for airfreight outstrips new capacity coming onto the market, lending a boost to air freight rates, and load factors. The UK-based market intelligence firm reported rates across 21 major east-west trade lanes rose by 1.1 percent, year-over-year, to US $2.81 per kilogram.

The latest numbers provide a strong base rate to build on as the industry moves from the summer into peak season this fall. After peaking in November 2016, air freight rates began falling in December, a season trend observed after most peak seasons. This year however, the slope at which rates dropped was less pronounced than in year’s past. The Price Index was up by 1.2 percent in June, compared to May, and remains 2.6 points higher than this year’s lowest point in February.

Looking ahead, Drewry expects rates to continue rising in July.  Cargo Facts has heard from a number of carriers that shippers are already rushing to secure space for the remainder of the year, in support of new product launches and strong underlying demand.

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