Air cargo demand declines for a ninth consecutive month

Freight forwarders are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach before making long-term air cargo capacity commitments as airlines saw demand drop 2% month-over-month in November as general airfreight volumes dipped for a ninth consecutive month, dashing hopes of a late peak season boost, according to the latest weekly market by CLIVE Data Services, part of Xeneta. Chargeable weight in November was -8% versus the same month of 2021, although the 1% reduction in global air cargo capacity, as airlines adapted to winter schedules, contributed to a stable ‘dynamic load factor’ of 61%, on a par with the previous month, based on the volume and weight perspectives of cargo flown and capacity available.
Load factor, however, continued to sit well below last year’s extraordinary peak season. For instance, Europe to North America load factor in the week leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday sat at 74% this year, down 12% from the same week last year. Amidst so much market uncertainty, industry parties are increasingly choosing shorter-term deals as they wait to see how business trends unfold in the coming months. Distribution of contract rates for shippers shows commitments of over three-month contracts hardly exist in Q4 this year.