The Drewry November East-West Air Freight Price Index puts air cargo rates at a two-year high – US$3.35 per kilogram, to be exact – and a 6 percent rise over October’s figures. The seasonally appropriate rates are a fitting end to the lean years, which limped into the onset of 2016 and threatened to slide down the chimneys of good little forwarders and plunder the stockings of sleeping carriers, like the Grinch who stole demand.
Last month’s rates pushed Drewry’s East West index to a new high for the year: 103.2 points, compared to 99.3 in the same month of 2015. Drewry’s analysis noted that, “while it sounds as if rates have come down slightly in December, carriers are saying rates are surprisingly high for the last week before Christmas and – even more surprisingly – that January is looking strong.”
The good news stands to extend into 2017, as anecdotal evidence and carrier reports suggest that high capacity may continue well into the peak season. The Loadstar reported that Qantas saw its busiest night of the year this Monday, carrying 344.5 tonnes, while Tuesday was also strong, with loads of 344.1 tonnes. Wednesday fell slightly, but stayed strong at 289.5 tonnes, according to the airline, reporting that “overall, there were huge volumes and volumetric freight over the last two weeks.”