Airfreight rates from Hong Kong and Shanghai stabilise

By Damian Brett

Airfreight rates from Shanghai and Hong Kong showed some signs of stabilisation last week, according to the latest figures from TAC Index.

Numbers from the data provider show that airfreight rates from Shanghai to North America decreased by 0.8% week on week to $4.65 per kg, while from Shanghai to Europe prices are up 8% on a week earlier to $3.40 per kg.

From Hong Kong to North America there was an 8% increase on a week earlier to $5.12 per kg, while to Europe there was a 3.3% change to $3.14 per kg.

While prices continued to fluctuate, the rapid increase and then decrease recorded between mid-March and early July appears to have eased as the urgent need for personal protective equipment has waned.

Prices remain above the year-ago level but the difference has narrowed over recent weeks. Hong Kong-Europe is now up 22% on last year, Shanghai-Europe is up 45% on a year ago, Hong Kong-North America has increased 52.8% year on year and Shanghai-North America is 54.5% ahead.

In its latest market review, WorldACD said that global yields decreased by “no more than 2.4%” from the last two weeks of June to the first two weeks of July, while weekly volumes were lower by mid-July, compared with the two weeks prior.

Looking ahead, derivatives broker Freight Investor Services said the market is uncertain with various factors coming into play.

“Much like many of our reports — the outlook still remains acutely uncertain,” it said. “On the demand side, near-term volumes remain ‘somewhat’ slack (we use this term cautiously) and tech releases (the sort that spiked the trans-Pacific market in 2017) stacked up for September 2020 onwards loom.”

Also, on August 7 US tariffs will expire for hundreds of products, from coffee filters to skateboards, on $200bn worth of Chinese goods.

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