Global air cargo tonnages showed a positive development in the second full week of September, after stabilizing at the beginning of the month, with average rates also on an upward trend, breaking out of the bandwidth that we reported since mid July – between $2.26 and $2.29 per kilo, now reaching $2.31, according to the latest figures from WorldACD Market Data.

Weekly Analysis

Figures for week 37 (11 to 17 September) show a jump in tonnages of +4%, compared with the previous week, while average worldwide air cargo prices increased slightly (+1%), based on the more than 400,000 weekly transactions covered by WorldACD’s data.

Comparing weeks 36 and 37 with the preceding two weeks (2Wo2W), overall tonnages increased by +3% versus their combined total in weeks 34 and 35, while worldwide rates went up by +2% at slightly higher capacity (+1%).

At a regional level, increases in tonnages (2Wo2W) were recorded most strongly on flows intra-Asia Pacific (+11%) and ex-Asia Pacific to, respectively, North America (+6%) and Europe (+6%). Other notable increases were recorded ex-Europe to, respectively, North America (+6%) and Central & South America (+4%). However, some key lanes showed a notable deterioration: ex-North America to, respectively, Central & South America (-10%) and Europe (-4%), and ex-Middle East & South Asia to, respectively, Europe (-7%) and Asia Pacific (-5%).

On the pricing side, average global rates increased by +2% on a 2Wo2W basis, with most regions remaining stable, whereas rates saw notable rises ex-Asia Pacific to, respectively, Europe (+6%) and North America (+4%).

Year-on-Year perspective

Comparing the overall global market with this time last year, chargeable weight in weeks 36 and 37 was down -2% compared with the equivalent period last year (YoY), with the most-notable change on an origin region level being a +10% rise ex-Asia Pacific. But, similar to previous reports, there were double-digit percentage decreases in tonnages ex-North America (-13%) and ex-Europe (-12%). Tonnages ex-Middle East & South Asia were down -4%, while the other origin regions showed mild changes (Africa -1%, Central & South America +2%).

Overall capacity has increased by +13% compared with last year, with capacity ex-Asia Pacific up by a noteworthy +30%. Other significant YoY capacity increases can be observed ex-Europe (+16%), ex-Middle East & South Asia (+11%), ex-North America (+9%) and ex-Africa (+5%), while a slight drop was recorded ex-Central & South America (-3%).

Worldwide average rates are currently -33% below their levels this time last year, at an average of US$2.31 per kilo in week 37, although they remain significantly above pre-Covid levels (+34% compared to September 2019).