Freight 101 Blog

Air cargo rates unlikely to climb this peak season

Stay up to date with the latest air cargo, ocean freight, and international shipping news with Freightos.com.

Weekly highlights

Transpacific ocean spot rates were stable last week, suggesting that decreases in ocean capacity from blanked sailings and smaller carriers leaving the lane may be slowing the rate decline. 

  • Rates to the West and East Coasts fell 16% and 18% respectively in October
  • This dip is more moderate compared to September’s 45% drop in West Coast rates and 24% decline to the East Coas
  • Asia – N. Europe rates declined by about 30% in each of the last two months

The sharper West Coast drop is driven by a shift in demand to East Coast ports. Many shippers have moved over to avoid the West Coast port worker labor dispute with the latest taking place in Oakland this week. 

Labor tensions in US rail also continued this week. Half of the unions involved have still not ratified the tentative agreement reached in September.

November is typically air cargo peak season, but falling volumes and stagnating rates suggest that there will not be much of a peak in air cargo this year. 

While air cargo prices climbed into November last year,  Freightos Air Index rates out of Asia show that prices were stable overall this October.

  • The current rate of $4.45/kg from Asia to N. Europe is 26% lower than last year
  • The Asia – N. America rate of $5.74/kg is 46% lower than last October

Asia-US rates for this week

  • Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Weekly) dipped 3% to $2,479/FEU. This rate is 87% lower than the same time last year.
  • Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Weekly) fell 2% to $5,671/FEU, and are 71% lower than rates for this week last year.

Check in next week for more real-time freight market updates to help you ship smoother.

More rates from Freightos.com

Containerized Freight Rates from the Freightos Baltic Index
FBX LaneGlobalAsia – US West CoastAsia –US East CoastAsia – North EuropeNorth Europe – US East Coast
This Week$3,340$2,479$5,671$4,853$7,041 
Last Week-3%-3%-2%-6%0%
Last Year*-68%-87%-71%-66%-4%
* Compared to the corresponding week in 2021

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