Air Freight Rates Soar Due to E-commerce Boom, Red Sea Woes

Global air freight rates are soaring, with a surprise surge of over 2% witnessed in the first week of April. This follows a year-on-year increase of 41% compared to pre-pandemic levels in April 2019. The trend is being driven by a confluence of factors, according to industry experts.

Key Drivers of Air Freight Rate Increase:

  • E-commerce Boom: The continued boom in cross-border e-commerce is fueling demand for air cargo, especially from Asia Pacific regions like China and Hong Kong.
  • Red Sea Disruptions: The ongoing disruptions in the Red Sea are causing a significant shift from ocean to air freight, particularly impacting routes from the Middle East and South Asia to Europe. This surge in demand has pushed spot rates to record highs. For example, India to Europe rates have jumped a staggering 160% year-on-year.
  • Jet Fuel Price Increase: Rising jet fuel prices are adding an extra layer of cost pressure to airlines, further contributing to the overall increase in air freight rates. WorldACD reports a 4% increase in jet fuel prices week-on-week and a 3% rise compared to the previous month.

Experts Anticipate Short-Term Relief:

Niall van der Wouw, head of airfreight at Xeneta, acknowledges the surprise element in this air freight rate surge. He predicts some relief in the coming months due to increased capacity entering the market with the summer schedules of passenger airlines.

Stay Informed on Air Freight Trends:

This article provides a snapshot of the current air freight market dynamics. For the latest updates and expert insights on air freight rates, keep an eye on industry publications and resources on the airfreight surge.


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