Rise in cargo volumes shows forwarders entering pacts’
Global air cargo volumes shot up by 6 per cent in September as shippers and forwarders opted for long-term contracts, according to the latest weekly performance data from CLIVE Data Services, part of Xeneta. Increasing shipper and freight forwarder confidence in a more stable global air cargo market led to a higher commitment to longer-term freight contracts in September as a drop in capacity and traditional month-over-month seasonality pushed volumes up 6%. The number of shippers committing to airfreight contracts of 6 months in Q3 2023 rose to 34 per cent from 28 per cent in the previous three months, Xeneta stated, as the industry comes to terms with a new baseline for the general air cargo market. “This is not a peak season, it is a sign that airlines, freight forwarders, and shippers are finding more common ground to enter longer-term agreements. We previously referenced no macro and market currents to support an expectation of a peak season, and this is still the case. We also said if there was to be an uptick in rates, we would expect this to be mainly driven by the supply side than the demand side, and this also still holds true. The general air cargo market is entering a new phase where parties are not expecting the market to go much higher or much lower. It is finding its feet again. We see more longer-term contracts being signed and this only happens when people feel more comfortable about the now and the foreseeable future. It is easier to make a commitment now than when the market is on a sharp downward or upward trajectory. There is a firmer floor in place,” said Niall van de Wouw, Chief Airfreight Officer at Xeneta.