Air cargo rates stabilise for summer period

By Damian Brett

Image: Shutterstock

Airfreight rates on key trade lanes were stable in July for the quieter summer period but remain far above pre-pandemic levels.

The latest data from the Baltic Exchange Airfreight Index (BAI) show that average rates on services from Hong Kong to North America dropped by 2.6% in July compared with June to $8.49 per kg.

However, rates on the trade are up 7.5% on the year-ago level and far ahead of the $3.44 per kg recorded for the month in pre-pandemic 2019.

There was a similar trend on services from Hong Kong to Europe where rates in July increased by 1.3% on June levels to $6.34 per kg.

But rates on the trade are up by 38.4% compared last year and are much higher than the $2.67 per kg registered in July 2019.

The flattening of rates compared with a month ago reflects the seasonal summer slowdown ahead of the peak season towards the end of the year.

Meanwhile, average prices from Frankfurt to North America continued to decline as carriers added capacity for the summer tourist season.

Contacts have suggested extra capacity is being added to the trade this year as airlines find a use for passenger aircraft that would normally be utilised on services to China, which still has Covid restrictions in place for passenger travel.

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