Air freight rates continue to rise – barely

Drewry reports second consecutive month of rising air freight rates.

According to shipping consultants Drewry, air freight rates, which began to rise in March after a long slide, continued that trend in April. In March, Drewry’s East-West Air Freight Price Index, which is based on the average of all-in rates, including surcharges,  (US dollars per kilogram) for cargo of more than 1,000 kilograms on 21 major east-west routes, rose 6.1% over March 2013, and was up 6.8% from February 2014.

The company’s just-published data for April show that the Index rose 1.5 points to 104.3, with the average rate for airport-to-airport service on the 21 lanes at US$3.38 per kilo. This is a smaller gain than that seen in March, and perhaps the result of increased surcharges, rather than a higher base rate, but a gain nonetheless.

Drewry said the rate increase was driven by increased ex-Asia shipments of summer fashion apparel and also by the IT sector, which saw more consumer electronics launches. However, looking ahead, Drewry said it expected rates to decline in the next few months, due to the influx of seasonal bellyhold capacity.


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