Global average airfreight rates increased in March against a year ago as aircraft cargo utilisation has improved.
The latest figures from Drewry's Sea and Air Shipper Insight report show that average ‘all-in’ airfreight rates across 21 major east-west trade lanes increased by 7.9% year on year in March to reach $2.84 per kg.
Prices were also up on February levels when airlines achieved an average price across the trade lanes of $2.73 per kg.
This improvement reverses a monthly drop off that began in December, although it is not unusual for rates to drop at this time of year as the industry enters a quieter period.
Drewry said that this time last year prices remained broadly flat compared with the previous month but added that current prices were still “relatively low”.
“The major airports reporting tonnage figure surged month-on-month displays that despite relatively low airfreight rates, there has definitely been growth in the trade.
“Capacity continues to rise, albeit at a slower pace than last year, although utilisation has gone up along with the rise in load factors.”
The latest figures from IATA show that in February average load factors climbed to 43.5% compared with 42.1% in January and 41% during the same month last year.
The TAC Index also showed an improvement in airfreight rates in March.