Global air cargo tonnages have held firm in the first full week of September after dropping -3% at the end of August and in the first few days of September, while average rates continue to hover at around the same level they have since mid-July, according to the latest figures from WorldACD Market Data.
The air cargo market data provider said week 36 (September 4-10) saw stable tonnages compared with the previous week, while average worldwide air cargo prices increased slightly (+1%).
The data is based on the more than 400,000 weekly transactions covered by WorldACD's data.
WorldACD noted that comparing weeks 35 and 36 with the preceding two weeks (2Wo2W), overall tonnages and worldwide rates also remained flat versus their combined total in weeks 33 and 34, while capacity continued to decrease slightly (-1%), as it has since the second week of August.
In terms of regional trade, the tonnage of goods transported decreased significantly (by 2Wo2W) on routes from North America to Europe (-12%), Asia Pacific (-8%), and Central & South America (-7%). This decline was most noticeable due to the impact of Labor Day in the US and Canada on September 4.
Following the end of the main European summer holiday season, notable increases were recorded in flows between Europe and Asia Pacific (westbound +7%, eastbound +6%), ex-Europe to North America (+6%) and ex-Middle East & South Asia to Asia Pacific (+7%).
The report added that on the pricing side, average global rates remained stable on a 2Wo2W basis, along with prices from the main origin regions, with no notable deviations among the main regions.
Tonnage, rates down year-on-year
WorldACD said the global market's chargeable weight in weeks 35 and 36 was down by 7% compared to the same period last year. There were double-digit percentage decreases in tonnages originating from North America (-20%) and Europe (-13%).
Tonnages ex-Africa were down -5%, while the other origin regions remained flat (Central & South America) or showed mild decreases (Asia Pacific -1%, Middle East & South Asia -2%).
Overall capacity has increased by +7% compared with last year, with capacity ex-Asia Pacific up by a noteworthy +23% — with other significant YoY capacity increases observed ex-Middle East & South Asia (+8%) and ex-Europe (+7%), while a significant decrease was recorded ex-Central & South America (-7%).
The report noted that worldwide average rates are currently -35% below their levels this time last year, at an average of US$2.29 per kilo in week 36, although they remain significantly above pre-Covid levels (+33% compared to September 2019).