Air freight rates are decreasing, but they will not return to the pre-coronavirus crisis levels

On the one hand, the shrinking demand for air cargo transportation leads to a steady decrease in freight rates. On the other hand, according to the Clive Analytics Service, the operators’ higher costs are keeping the rates at levels well above those of pre-coronavirus crisis 2019.

The capacity in the global air cargo market has been increasing for eleven consecutive months. In February, the supply of capacity was 11% higher than the same period in 2022.

The average spot air freight rate was $2.73 per kg that is 35% lower than a year earlier, but 52% higher than in 2019.

The average rate on routes from Southeast Asia to Europe dropped to $2.68 per kg that is 63% lower than last February, but 38% higher than in 2019.

When commenting on the February’s data, Niall van de Wouw, Chief Officer at Xeneta, an Air Freight Analytics Service, was confident that rates would not return to pre-crisis levels due to sharply rising costs of operations.