Air freight capacity takes off and rates drop, as Europe-US flights surge

May 08 | 2022

The latest analysis from Oslo-based Xeneta shows marked fluctuations in air freight rates between Western Europe and the US, as an increased passenger travel drives cargo capacity to new heights for 2022.

Xeneta's Niall van de Wouw (left) together with CEO Patrik Berglund

According to Xeneta, which crowd sources real-time ocean and air freight data from leading global shippers, in addition to dynamic load factor data from airlines, capacity surged by 21% between mid-March and the end of April.

With high passenger demand for the transatlantic corridor, and new summer schedules rolling out, capacity in April was actually higher than pre-pandemic, currently sitting above 2019 levels.

Niall van de Wouw, Xeneta Chief Air Officer said, “The aviation industry is obviously keen to put an extremely challenging period behind them and get back to normal; even if it is a new normal.”

On the subject of rates Niall added, “Our shipper community informs us that spot prices have been impacted by added capacity, with an average short-term rate of USD 4.1 per kg from Europe to the US. That’s around USD 1.7 per kg below the average for the long-term contracts signed across the last three months (approximately USD 5.9 per kg). On the backhaul the rates are substantially lower, with spot prices of USD 1.5 per kg against long-term contracts of USD 2.3kg.”

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Photo: Xeneta's Niall van de Wouw (left) together with CEO Patrik Berglund.