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WorldACD Weekly Air Cargo Trends – week 41

Tonnages partially recover from China’s Golden Week

Global air cargo tonnages recovered slightly in the second full week of October compared with the previous week, according to the latest figures from WorldACD Market Data, following the significant decrease the week before caused by the seasonal effect of China’s National Day Golden Week holiday from 29 September to 6 October.

Weekly analysis

Figures for week 41 (9 to 15 October) show a +2% increase in tonnages and in global average rates, compared with the previous week, based on the more than 400,000 weekly transactions covered by WorldACD’s data. The week-on-week (WoW) partial recovery in tonnages is slightly more positive compared to the equivalent week last year, when no change was recorded. But the situation this time last year in China was complicated due to various regions of the country going in and out of zero-Covid lockdowns.

Comparing weeks 40 and 41 this year with the preceding two weeks (2Wo2W), overall tonnages decreased by -5% versus their combined total in weeks 38 and 39, while worldwide rates and capacity went slightly down (-1%).

At a regional level, decreases in tonnages (2Wo2W) were recorded most strongly on flows outbound from Asia Pacific to, respectively, Middle East & South Asia (-12%), Europe (-11%) and North America (-5%), and intra-Asia Pacific (-6%), due to the impact of Golden Week in China.

Elsewhere, tonnages were also down ex-North America to Europe (-8%), ex-Europe to Central & South America (-6%), between Europe and Middle East & South Asia (eastbound -6%, westbound -7%), and ex-Europe to Asia Pacific (-5%), on a 2Wo2W basis, while a notable increase was recorded ex-Central & South America to North America (+5%).

On the pricing side, average global rates slipped slightly (-1%) on a 2Wo2W basis, and on a regional level rates were mostly stable to slightly negative, with somewhat stronger decreases recorded ex-Middle East & South Asia to Asia Pacific (-8%) and intra-Asia Pacific (-5%).

Year-on-Year perspective

With China’s National Day Golden Week taking place at the same time each year, its strong WoW and 2Wo2W effects are far less visible in year-on-year (YoY) comparison figures, which are fairly similar this week to those in previous recent reports. Comparing the overall global market with this time last year, chargeable weight in weeks 40 and 41 was down -1% compared with the equivalent period last year, with the most-notable changes on an origin region level being a +10% rise ex-Asia Pacific and ex-Middle East & South Asia. But, similar to previous reports, there were significant decreases in tonnages ex-North America (-15%) and ex-Europe (-12%). Furthermore, tonnages were (slightly) up for origin regions Africa (+1%) and Central & South America (+3%).

Overall capacity has increased by +10% compared with last year, as passenger air services continue to return to the market, with capacity ex-Asia Pacific up by a noteworthy +29%. Other significant YoY capacity increases can be observed ex-Middle East & South Asia (+11%), ex-Europe (+8%) , ex-North America (+7%) and ex-Africa (+6%), while a drop was recorded ex-Central & South America (-4%).

Worldwide average rates are currently -28% below their levels this time last year, at an average of US$2.34 per kilo in week 41, although they remain significantly above pre-Covid levels (+33% compared to October 2019).

For more details, please refer to the attached WorldACD weekly report.

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