Inflation is dampening air freight demand: DHL

DHL’s latest Airfreight report suggests soaring inflation is likely to see reduced purchasing power and demand for air freight going into 2023. The monthly report details the latest developments of the global air freight market and is undertaken by DHL Global Forwarding. It shows that lower sales and high inventory are common across most sectors, with retail and manufacturing the most affected. This, it says, is encouraging shippers to use ocean options where possible to limit inventory and reduce freight costs. DHL points out that in pre-pandemic times Q4 would typically see a “burgeoning surge of air cargo demand and rates due to the approaching holiday season”. But it says that air freight volumes in October showed “almost no signs of a fourth-quarter cargo surge”. It concludes that the belief that this year would see the normalisation of trading patterns after two years of Covid-19 “premature”. DHL says that underpinning this dampening of demand is the current global average inflation rate of around 9%.