News / Air freight rates on the up again, driven by more demand for less capacity –


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Forwarders are reporting that air freight rates are still on the rise, driven by demand from distressed sea freight, e-commerce, hi-tech launches and general retail.

Meanwhile, capacity for the two weeks up to 10 October remained 20% below the same time last year, albeit one percentage point higher than the previous two weeks.

Airlines rates have seen a $2 per kg rise in the past two weeks – and are still rising.

“China is busy all over – especially with the northern region of Shanghai upwards,” said one European forwarder.

“It’s not just e-commerce and tech launches, the general market is very busy with retailers replenishing for the lead-up to Christmas.

“There’s been a $2 increase over past two weeks and it’s climbing from China to Europe, and the transpacific is the same. November looks as though it will be incredibly busy as e-commerce begins to kick-in further. Rates will go higher, I am sure.”

Lee Alderman-Davis, global business and product development director for Ligentia, agreed. She said: “Rates from China continue to rise due to a number of factors, the Q4 peak, tech companies launching new products and the continued requirement to move PPE by air.

“Rates will continue to rise due to the increased demand and the lack of capacity as passenger flights show no sign of recovery. Market rates are likely to be in excess of $7 per kg this week, with further increases coming. To combat the capacity issues, Ligentia will operate