May airfreight demand growth slows

With the release of WorldACD’s air cargo performance results for May, the slowdown from last year’s consistent double-digit increases is undeniable. Although volumes are still increasing year-over-year, the increases are significantly less than those seen during 2017.

Air cargo volumes worldwide increased by 2.6 percent y-o-y in May, down from the nearly 15 percent y-o-y increase reported for May 2017, as year-over-year comparisons have become more difficult in 2018 thanks to the especially strong 2017 growth. Worldwide, air cargo yields were up 14% year-over-year in US dollars for May but were 3% lower compared to April 2018. While yield growth seems healthy, it’s important to note that yield growth is currency dependent, and in euros, yields were up by a smaller 7 percent.

Turning to the airfreight price index from Drewry, average freight rates for East-West routes weakened month-to-month by US$0.03 but were still up by 10.7 percent y-o-y to $2.70. This is one area that is likely to continue its robust growth through at least June, and Drewry reports that it expects rates “to rise in June on the back of higher trans-Pacific rates.”

You can view a more in-depth analysis of May airfreight performance metrics on our sister publication, Cargo Facts:

Air cargo demand growth slows in May

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