Airfreight rates on the up in June

The month of June saw airfreight rates continue to track ahead of last year’s levels, however the summer slowdown and tourist season has seen some drop off on certain routes compared with May.
The latest figures from Tac Index show that airfreight rates on services from Hong Kong to North America increased by 16.2% year on year in June to reach $3.80 per kg, continuing the trend recorded for most of the year.
However, there was some weakness compared with May, when prices stood at $3.88 per kg. This does not reflect the trend of the last two years when there has been a slight increase between the two months.
On the other hand, rates on the lane reached an annual high towards the end of the month, which some commentators put down to Nippon Cargo Airlines’ decision to ground its fleet of 11 freighters while safety records were checked and also a rush as shippers looked to move some products before China and the US introduced trade tariffs on certain products.
Rates on services from Hong Kong to Europe were also up year on year in May, increasing by 17.7% to $2.66 per kg.
Prices on this trade lane were also up on May levels, although this was also the case in 2017.
Looking ahead, prices on the trade lane tend to be fairly flat over the summer before picking up again in the third quarter and peaking at the end of the year.
Finally, prices on services from Frankfurt to North America increased by 14.4% year on year in June to $2.54 per kg. Prices were down on May levels, but this was also the case in 2017.
Rate portal Freightos said that prices on the lane tend to decrease over the summer as airlines move larger planes to Europe-US to capitalise on the seasonal increase in passenger movements.
“That’s why, along with additional charter flights in the region, Europe-US average general rates decreased by 33% over the past two weeks,” Freightos said.
“They will go up again through July as shippers jostle to get their shipments out before the big factory close-down in Europe. Prices will fall away again in August.”
It added that Amazon Prime Day, July 16, would push up rates on Asia-US services.
Click on chart for interactive version

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