India to Europe air cargo rates up by 40% : Xeneta

Preparation before flight. Loading of cargo containers to airplane at airport.
The India to Europe air cargo market has experienced a surge in volumes since the beginning of this year. This has been largely due to demand in apparel exports from India and Sri Lanka coinciding with disruptions to ocean freight services in the Red Sea region, which saw shippers switch transportation mode to air for some of their cargo, according to the latest update from Xeneta. “These increased general air cargo volumes drove overall air cargo demand in the week ending February 25, 2024 to sit 40 percent higher than the 2019 weekly average. While volumes have dipped slightly since then, in the week ending March 24, they remained 24 percent above the 2019 weekly average.” With cargo capacity remaining relatively stable, the dynamic load factor from India to Europe climbed to 87 percent in the week ending March 24, which is its highest level since April 2022, the update added. “This increasing load factor has also distorted the usual relationship between weight breaks. Traditionally, larger cargo volumes (more weight) are charged at a cheaper per kg price than smaller volumes (less weight). However, in the week ending March 24, the general cargo spot rate for +1,000 kg reached $3.50 per kg, above the spot rate for +500 kg which stood at $3.46 per kg. “The last time Xeneta observed this market condition was during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic when the air cargo market encountered a capacity squeeze.”