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Airfreight Continues Growth Pattern Worldwide Except on U.S.-to-Europe Lanes

Improving signs for the overall airfreight market are growing as the combined airfreight logistics confidence index increased for the first time in four months.

In terms of the present situation, the index is just shy of the all-important 50-level. While all lanes noted increases, the US-to-Europe lane was the only one to decline. Meanwhile, the 6-month expected situation barely increased as trade lanes recorded mixed signals. The airfreight market remains fragile. Even though IATA reported a 5.9 percent increase for March, it noted that, “While airfreight volumes rebounded to near three-year highs in March, levels are still slightly below January. Levels are up on a year ago due to growth which took place at the end of 2013; that growth trend has paused over recent months.”

Asked if the average size of airfreight shipments had changed, 38 percent of the respondents noted their average size of airfreight shipments were declining while 53 percent responded no declines and 9 percent indicated no change in the average size of airfreight shipments. Comments were mixed, indicating no clear industry trend. One response – “We airfreight goods only when strictly necessary” – appears to go along with IATA’s call to improve its value proposition if it is to attract growth when markets improve.

Meanwhile, the sea freight logistics confidence index increased 1.5 points to 60.1. For the present situation, all lanes increased except Asia to Europe. The Asia-to-Europe lane has experienced erratic rates actually slipping below $1000/TEU for a few weeks during first quarter. Since then, the rates have climbed above $1,000/TEU and have noted an increase for the last two weeks in April.

However, for the 6-month expected situation, the index grew 1.8 points with all lanes gaining. Perhaps expectations are running high for the P3 alliance? The alliance could likely help stabilized rates and capacity.

Source: Transport Intelligence

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