Transpacific air freight rates ticked up by nearly 10 cents per kilo, growing to $3.32 per kilo after a slow start to the year, according to Drewry’s East-West Airfreight Price Index. The number shows strong growth over September’s price of $3.15, but is still far off from the rate high points seen in November and December.
The rate uptick occurred during the Chinese New Year, during which all activity in China effectively shut down for 10 days.
|Sources: Drewry Sea & Air Shipper Insight.
Drewry’s index takes a monthly average of pricing on 21 key east-west trading lanes.
Air Cargo activity out of Hong Kong into the United States declined in 2012, but is on an upward trend so far in 2013 due to the slow U.S. recovery, according to Mark Whitehead, managing director of Hactl. In fact, he said 2012 was one of the handler’s best years at Hong Kong International Airport and he predicts a year that's “at least as good” in 2013. Internationally, most of this activity will come from the United States, as it will take quite a bit of time for Europe to become a driver of air cargo again, he said.
U.S. freight forwarders foresee a year of flat air cargo growth out of Asia, with shippers moving to ocean freight whenever possible. Increased capacity eastbound out of the United States will keep rates low, and forwarders don’t predict any drastic rate increases out of Asia for 2013. - Jon Ross