Airfreight rates on major lanes reach their highest level of the year in August

Airfreight rates on Asia-Europe and transpacific services reached their highest level of the year so far in August, while forwarders have started warning of peak season capacity constraints.
The latest figures from TAC Index show that prices on services from Hong Kong to North America increased by 23.4% year on year in August to reach $3.96 per kg – their highest level of the year so far.
The rates achieved in August are also up slightly on July levels and on the prices achieved during the same month in 2016 and 2015.
It was a similar story on the Hong Kong-Europe lane where airfreight rates climbed to $2.83 per kg, up 28% on the same month last year and also beating the amount charged in 2015 and 2016.
Looking ahead, figures from freight derivatives broker FIS show that the market is expecting prices from China to Europe to continue to rise as the year progresses, with a mid point of $3.10 per kg in September, $3.60 per kg in October and an average of $3.70 per kg during the fourth quarter.
Prices on these trade lanes traditionally continue to rise through to the end of the year as demand rises for the peak season.
However, they are performing particularly well this year in line with freight forwarders warning their customers to book space early if they want to avoid facing the capacity constraints experienced last year.
This comes despite figures from IATA show cargo load factors have eased slightly from 2017 levels.
On the transatlantic trade, an influx of capacity for the summer vacation season appears to be pushing rates in the opposite direction, as usually happens during the summer months.
Prices from Frankfurt to North America declined 5.4% compared with July to stand at $2.43 per kg, although this is up 5.2% year on year.
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