Airfreight rates to hit US$10/kg; more rises as demand surges

FORWARDERS are anticipating ad hoc airfreight rates of US$10 per kilogramme, as shippers become desperate to release goods from China with little or no belly space.

One Chinese forwarder said he expected a Boeing 777 or B747 aircraft to soon cost $10 per kg, and spot rates have already risen twice in the past couple of days, by CNY10 ($1.43) or more per kg to Europe, reported UK's The Loadstar.

"We do expect a possible third increase towards the weekend," he added.

He said there were some charter possibilities, with carriers such as SF Airlines, AirBridgeCargo and China Southern, but he said airlines would not hold the rate, and were quoting for each shipment on each flight, at a rate which could change before the cargo even got on the aircraft.

"We can only take cargo from those customers who understand the tricky situation that everything is beyond our control, basically."

He added that airlines were looking for full chargeable weight and that volumetric cargo was "not a priority" for airlines.

One European forwarder added that rates were already some $6 or $7 per kg, calling it a "global phenomenon".

He added: "Demand is through the roof. And supply is not increasing as carriers, if anything, are reducing further the scheduled passenger flights from Chinese gateways, especially in the north, around Beijing.FAXTEXT = "The market is going very much one way - I reckon rates could hit $10 per kg by the end of the week."

The European forwarder noted that, while at the moment demand is "exceeding supply massively", this could change.

"The market may slow if the world goes into isolation and people stop shopping. If there aren't shoppers, then there isn't demand, and supply becomes balanced."

Intra-Asia sea freight, meanwhile, is "all OK", with no issues on capacity or departures. The current demand for intra-Asian lanes is for manufacturing parts going to Southeast Asia, but that is expected to cool through the month.

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