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Air cargo volumes down again while rates continue to cool

Air cargo demand declined compared with a year ago for the fourth month in a row in June, according to the latest statistics from Xeneta, an ocean and air freight rate benchmarking platform. Figures show an 8% year-on-year decline in chargeable weight in June, following on from drops in March, April and May.The dynamic cargo load factor – taking into account weight and volume – for the month was nine percentage points behind last year at 59%.The load factor decline comes as demand fell and carriers continue to add capacity – up 6% on last year – to cater for returning passenger demand.Despite the weakening supply and demand conditions, rates for the year were up 13% compared with the same month last year, although there was a decline compared to May. Xeneta chief airfreight officer Niall van de Wouw said that the North Atlantic market had seen the steepest decline in conditions as carriers have been rapidly adding capacity.This caused June’s rates on the trade to drop by 30% over the last three months with rates now very close to 2020 levels.He warned that this could have knock-on effects on other trade lanes, while inflation could also impact market demand.

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