Friday, May 24, 2024
Global tonnages in May down by -6% compared to 2022

Global tonnages in May down by -6% compared to 2022

Global air cargo tonnages partially recovered in the last full week of May, after having dropped the week before, while rates slightly increased, according to the latest weekly figures from WorldACD Market Data. The first half of May has shown strong swings in chargeable weight related to the 1 May public holidays, while rates have remained more or less stable throughout the month. Looking at the full month of May, preliminary data on global tonnages indicate a decrease of -6% compared to the previous year, which is an improvement compared to the first quarter (-11% year-on-year) and April (-10% year-on-year) as reported earlier.

Figures for week 21 (22 to 28 May) show an increase of +2% in tonnages and +1% in average global air cargo prices, week on week, after tonnages showed a decline of -4% in the third week of May – based on the more than 400,000 weekly transactions covered by WorldACD’s data. Comparing weeks 20 and 21 with the preceding two weeks (2Wo2W), overall tonnages increased by +2% versus their combined total in weeks 18 and 19, with slight changes in capacity (+1%) and average worldwide rates (-1%). At a regional level, most origin regions showed an upward trend in tonnages on a 2Wo2W basis, following the drop at the start of May, except for a -4% drop ex-North America and a (-14%) correction ex-Central & South America following the surge of flower exports in late April and early May related to Mother’s Day. Notable increases can be observed outbound Asia Pacific to Middle East & South Asia (+16%), outbound Middle East & South Asia to Europe (+14%), outbound Europe to Africa (+14%) and outbound Asia Pacific to Europe (+8%). Significant drops in air cargo tonnages can be reported on the flows outbound North America to Europe (-9%) and outbound Central & South America to North America (-21%).Meanwhile, average pricing decreased slightly, on a 2Wo2W basis, from all of the main origin regions, with rates outbound Central & South America to North America showing the most notable change (-8%), along with a -5% drop in the rates outbound Middle East & South Asia to Asia Pacific.

Year-on-Year perspective

Comparing the overall global market with this time last year, chargeable weight in weeks 20 and 21 was down -9% compared with the equivalent period last year. The most notable changes include double-digit percent decreases in year-on-year (YoY) tonnages ex-North America (-22%) and ex-Europe (-11%), while traffic ex-Middle East & South Asia is up +8%, YoY.  Overall capacity has increased by +12% compared with the previous year, with double-digit percentage increases from all regions except North America (+8%) and Central & South America (-9%). The most-notable increase was ex-Asia Pacific (+32%). Worldwide average rates are currently -37% below their levels this time last year, at an average of US$2.48 per kilo in week 21, despite the effects of higher fuel surcharges, although they remain significantly above pre-Covid levels.

Picture of Edward Hardy

Edward Hardy

Having become a journalist after university, Edward Hardy has been a reporter and editor at some of the world's leading publications and news sites. In 2022, he became Air Cargo Week's Editor. Got news to share? Contact me on


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