Weak demand continued into November with still no signs of the traditional peak season surge.
The air cargo data provider said in the last few weeks up to November 13, the latest preliminary figures from WorldACD Market Data show that the weakening trend continues in this week's report – although the drop was less steep on a week-over-week basis.
"There are still no signs of any fourth-quarter (Q4) seasonal uplift in air cargo demand or pricing, with the downward trend of the last several months continuing into the second week of November – when peak season is usually in full flow," WorldACD said.
For week 45 (November 7-13), WorldACD noted that it showed a further -1% drop in worldwide flown tonnages from the previous week, and a stable average price.
But comparing weeks 44 and 45 with the preceding two weeks (2Wo2W), tonnages were 7% below their level in weeks 42 and 43, while average worldwide rates decreased by 1%, in a decreasing capacity environment (1%) – based on the more than 350,000 weekly transactions covered by WorldACD's data.
"Across that two-week period, outbound tonnages dropped from all the main regions, most notably ex-Europe (declined 12%), ex-Asia Pacific (declined 5%) and ex-North America (declined 5%), " the air cargo data provider added.
On a lane-by-lane basis, it added that strong decreases were recorded between Europe and North America (down 12% westbound and down 10% eastbound) and between Europe and Asia Pacific
(down 7% westbound and down 14% eastbound).
There were also double-digit percentage drops in tonnages from Europe to Central & South America (down 15%) and to Africa (down 11%), while intra-Asia Pacific volumes fell by 7%, according to WorldACD.
Chargeable weight growth outbound from the Middle East & South Asia to Asia Pacific was the only significant positive exception, rising 6%, on a 2Wo2W basis.
Rates continue to drop but remain above pre-Covid levels
WorldACD noted that comparing the overall global market with this time last year, chargeable weight in weeks 44 and 45 was down 18% compared with the equivalent period in 2021, despite a capacity increase of 2%.
Notably, tonnages ex-Asia Pacific are 25% below their strong levels this time last year, and the Middle East & South Asia origin tonnages are 23% below last year.
But there were also double-digit percentage year-on-year drops outbound from both North America (down 18%) and Europe (down 13%), despite higher capacity.
Meanwhile, the air cargo data provider added that capacity from all the main origin regions, with the exception of Asia Pacific (down 8%) and Central & South America (down 6%), is (significantly) above its levels this time last year: North America up 9%, Middle East & South Asia up 6%, Europe up 2% and a double-digit percentage rise from Africa (up 11%).
"Worldwide rates are currently 22% below their levels this time last year at an average of US$3.34 per kilo, despite the effects of higher fuel surcharges, but they remain significantly above pre-Covid levels," the air cargo data provider added.