November rates ‘highest of last 4 peak seasons,’ Drewry finds

Trans-Pacific airfreight rates hit a four-year high of US$3.18 per kilogram during the month of November – a 5 percent jump from October and a 2 percent year-over-year increase, according to Drewry’s latest East-West Index report.

Philip Damas, director of Drewry Supply Chain Advisors, the logistics consultancy arm of Drewry, said that, while the industry’s anticipation of the effects of protectionist policies likely fueled demand for trans-Pacific capacity during the interim period, other trade lanes that were less affected by the simmering U.S.-China trade war also experienced increased rates.

“The fear of U.S. tariffs pushed short-term demand and airfreight rates in the trans-Pacific this peak season,” he said, “but rates have also been remarkably strong in the trans-Atlantic and Europe-to-Asia routes this year.”

Drewry also noted that fuel surcharges have begun to decrease on some routes, following a particularly pricey period for fuel, which will have a soothing effect on rates.

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