Global air cargo tonnages have continued to slide downwards in November, normally a buoyant month in the air freight calendar, with a further steep decline in the last full week led by falling volumes to and from North America.
WorldACD said Figures for week 47 (21 to 27 November) show a significant overall drop of 8% in worldwide flown tonnages compared with the previous week, and a slight increase (1%) in average prices.
The strong decrease in chargeable weight has been mainly caused by Thanksgiving in the U.S., but also globally we see a continuation of the declining volume trend of recent months.
"Although there have been no signs of the usual seasonal uplift in rates, average prices have stabilized from most origin regions compared to previous weeks," WorldACD said, adding that one exception is rates ex-Central & South America showing a positive trend, while prices ex-North America have been on a downward trend.
Comparing weeks 46 and 47 with the preceding two weeks (2Wo2W), tonnages decreased 2% below their combined total in weeks 44 and 45, while average worldwide rates remained stable, in a slightly 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 were down significantly from North America to all regions due to Thanksgiving (-13% to Europe, -9% to Asia and -8% to Central & South America respectively), on a 2Wo2W basis.
Furthermore, WorldACD said notable decreases were recorded in Asia Pacific to North America (-8%), intra-Asia Pacific (-4%) and Central & South America to Europe (-4%). Meanwhile, increases were recorded from some other regions, most notably ex-Africa to Europe (+4%) and the Middle East & South Asia to Europe (+3%).
"Comparing the overall global market with this time last year, chargeable weight in weeks 46 and 47 was down 18% compared with the equivalent period in 2021, at a slightly increased capacity (+1%)," the report said.
"Notably, tonnages ex-Asia Pacific are 29% below their strong levels this time last year, and the Middle East & South Asia origin tonnages are 22% below last year. But there were also year-on-year drops outbound from both North America," it added.
Capacity from all the main origin regions, with the exception of Asia Pacific (-11%) and Central & South America (-9%), is significantly above its levels this time last year: Africa +11%, Europe +10%, Middle East & South Asia +6%, and North America +2%.
"Worldwide rates are currently 25% below their levels this time last year at an average of US$3.33 per kilo, despite the effects of higher fuel surcharges, but they remain significantly above pre-Covid levels," the report said.