Airfreight rates start the year ahead of 2017 levels

01 / 03 / 2018

Airfreight rates started the year ahead of 2017 levels but are expected to weaken in February in line with seasonal trends.

The latest figures from the Drewry Sea and Air Shipper Insight report shows that average global airfreight prices stood at $2.76 per kg in January, representing a year-on-year increase of 1.8%.

However, compared with December, prices were down from $3.06 per kg.

This month-on-month decline should not come as too much of a surprise as the market tends to weaken in the period after Christmas.

Looking ahead, Drewry is expecting further declines in line with seasonal trends: “Drewry’s east-west Airfreight Price Index dropped 30 cents in January to fall to $2.76 per kg, although rates for the month were still 2% above the same month last year.

“Chinese New Year and the resultant factory closures will create a demand lull and Drewry expects prices to soften again in February”

Chinese New Year tends to result in a spike in demand just before it hits and has a negative influence in the two weeks after, with the first four days bearing the brunt of the decrease.

This year, the holiday fell in February whereas last year it fell at the very end of January. A better picture of how the market is progressing should come with the release of February figures.

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