What does air cargo’s early peak season mean for peak season?

Demand and rates for airfreight transportation continue to soar through the normally soft summer season, powered by the unrelenting strength of e-commerce fulfillment from China and shippers pulling forward orders for the winter holidays to protect against rising costs, capacity shortages and worsening ocean shipping delays.

Air cargo volumes remain elevated from major Asian and Middle Eastern origins, especially to Europe, amid cascading effects on port productivity resulting from the effective...


China e-commerce exports, unreliable Red Sea shipping boost air cargo

Resurgent air cargo demand and rising rates, powered by the quasi-blockade of Red Sea shipping and continued growth in bookings by Chinese e-commerce platforms, during a normally slow shipping period is creating high expectations among air carriers for peak season and making logistics providers nervous about securing adequate capacity. 

Air cargo demand has grown by double digits for four consecutive months, while rates have risen steadily since late February. The strength of the market rebound...


Air cargo growth to start 2024 less than meets the eye

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Air cargo volume growth at the end of 2023 has carried over into a normally quiet shipping period...


Air cargo market: From ‘doom mongering’ to stability

The air cargo market is experiencing an unexpected bounce during the traditional peak shipping season culminating the year, fueled by e-commerce exports from China, but revenues for air logistics companies could be lower even if strengthening demand carries over into 2024, according to industry experts.

Still, the vibe in industry circles is that the worst of the freight recession is in the rearview mirror, with next year bringing welcome stability even if it takes until late summer for a...


Uptick in airfreight rates creates mirage of market recovery

Air logistics stakeholders may want to pump the brakes on celebrations of shipping volumes and rates finally climbing from the depths of a prolonged downturn. Newfound optimism is tempered by the fact that growth has more to do with normal seasonal patterns than a fundamental shift in demand. The market is essentially flat versus an anemic final stretch in 2022, according to the latest data.

And with no signs of a demand push as consumer finances get squeezed, analysts remain bearish about...


Orders for freighter aircraft slow ‘to a trickle’ 

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WASHINGTON –  Aerospace companies that specialize in converting passenger planes to freighters are...


Freighters flying fewer hours underscores market weakness in air cargo

A decline in flight hours for all-cargo airlines is another data point to gauge the sagging airfreight market that is typically measured in volume by tonnage or weight by distance carried.

Freighter aircraft utilization fell an estimated 8.1% in January, the second steepest decline in three years after a 9% drop in December, according to a recent report by investment bank BMO. Several airlines have recently reported diminished flight hours or said they expected slower operating activity this...


Geopolitics contribute to 11% decline in air cargo demand

Workers wearing yellow vests maneuver a large freight pallet under the wing of a jetliner.

The downturn in global air cargo demand intensified during April and is outpacing the slowdown in overall international trade in goods, as the Ukraine war, strict lockdown measures in China and inflation dragged down economic activity, an aviation industry group representing most major airlines reported this week.

Meanwhile, international travel demand in the passenger segment shot up in April, especially in the trans-Atlantic market, in response to reductions in COVID border restrictions ahead...


Ethiopian Airlines inks deal for 5 Boeing 777 freighters

A large white jet with two engines takes off and rises in front of camera.

Ethiopian Airlines on Wednesday said it will buy five large 777 freighters from Boeing, the latest step by Africa’s largest cargo operator to massively expand its fleet ahead of a projected rise in trade volumes for the continent. 

The order is on top of a letter of intent Ethiopian signed in early March for five next-generation 777-8 cargo jets that Boeing (NYSE: BA) expects to begin producing in 2027.

Ethiopian’s cargo division currently flies nine 777 freighters, plus three standard-size...


Air cargo market risks downturn as export orders contract

A pallet of cargo being loaded from a hoist into the upper deck of a plane as viewed from the side of plane over the wing.

The two-year bull market for air cargo could be headed for a downturn. Freight volumes moved by passenger and cargo airlines contracted in March and April as manufacturing and supply chains faltered in the face of war and COVID headwinds, according to figures from a major airline trade group and independent analysts.

The International Air Transport Association said Tuesday air freight demand in March fell 5.2% year-over-year and that seasonally adjusted volumes reached a 16-month low. On...


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