Airfreight rates flatten off in March but remain ahead of 2017 levels

Airfreight rates flattened off in March compared with a month earlier, although major routes out of Asia continue to track ahead of last year’s levels.
The latest figures from TAC Index show that airfreight rates on service from Hong Kong to North America in March increased by 26.3% compared with the same month a year ago to reach $3.65 per kg.
Prices on the route are also up on 2016 levels, when carriers were able to achieve $2.32 per kg, and there was a slight 0.8% increase compared with February, a reflection of seasonal demand trends.
On Hong Kong-Europe there was also an increase in March compared with a year earlier, with prices reaching $2.44 per kg, up 15.6% on 2017.
Compared with 2016, prices were up 23.2% but there was a slight 3.9% decline on February, a reflection of a flattening in demand over the first few months of the year.
Click on chart for interactive version

The year-on-year increases reflect the decent start to the year, with analyst figures showing that air cargo demand has increased by around 7% over the first couple of months.
Performing less well were services between Frankfurt and North America, where carriers saw rates decrease by 2.9% year on year in March to $3.01 per kg.
Last year saw a spike in demand on the trade lane in March, with IATA figures showing that European airlines registered an 18.2% year-on-year increase in freight tonne kms.
Compared with a month earlier, prices on the route were down by 1.6%, although this reflects seasonal trends.

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