As heavy seasonal shipping demand combined with flight cancellations and bad weather along certain routes, online pricing platform Freightos estimated that airfreight rates for some routes have more than doubled during the most recent peak season.
Early this month, Freightos already saw tight seasonal capacity pushing rates up to as high as US$13 per kilogram for a trans-Atlantic route. Demand has remained consistently high through late December, as well, as bad weather in Europe added to backlogs and pushed typical rates from Europe to New York’s JFK Airport from between $0.80 to $1.30 per kilogram to between $5 and $10 per kilogram.
Shipments between Asia and Europe have also been higher during recent weeks, rising to a rate of between $7 and $10 per kilogram, from only around $2 to $5 per kilogram seen during period with more typical demand.
These December rates, high as they are compared with normal figures, are still well below the highs seen so far this peak season.
Against a background of IATA’s estimated 9.3 percent growth in world cargo volumes for 2017, airfreight rates have been dramatically up this peak season. According to Freightos WebCargo CEO Manel Galindo, urgent shipments between Hong Kong and Europe have shipped for as high as $21 per kilogram, while Europe-to-South America airfreight rates have reached as high as $26 per kilogram.
Relief from high rates isn’t likely to emerge for some time, Galindo said – at least for rates between China and Europe. “The current backlog probably won’t fully clear before the lead up to the Chinese New Year closedown starts,” he added. The next Chinese New Year begins Feb. 16, 2018.