March sees airfreight rates improve on last year

Airfreight rates on some of the world’s major trade lanes continued to track ahead of last year’s levels in March as shippers turned from ocean to air transport and fuel prices continued to rise.
The latest figures from TAC Index show that net airfreight prices paid to carriers on Hong Kong-Europe and Hong Kong-US services in March were both up on a year ago.
On the Hong Kong to Europe route, the average amount paid in March stood at $2.11 per kg compared with $1.98 per kg for the same month in 2016.
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There was a two cent dip in prices paid compared with February, but month-on-month declines are expected at this time of the year and the rate of decline was much slower than that of both 2015 and 2016.
On services from Hong Kong to the US the average rate for the month was $2.89 per kg against $2.32 per kg last year.
Prices on this route were actually ahead of the February level whereas last year there was a decline.
In 2015 there was also an increase in prices in March compared with February but this was supported by strike action at US west coast seaports.
Prices on services from Frankfurt to North America increased in March to $3.10 per kg compared with $2.64 per kg in February. Year ago figures are not available.
The improvement in airfreight prices comes as airlines have been seeing unusually high demand for the time of the year, with some suggesting this is down to a containership capacity shortage as shipping lines are in the process of launching a series of new alliances.
Underlying demand also seems to be improving, while jet fuel prices have increased by around 30% compared with a year ago.

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