Monday, July 15, 2024
Thanksgiving air cargo tonnage decline less severe than last year

Thanksgiving air cargo tonnage decline less severe than last year

Worldwide air cargo demand patterns have continued to broadly follow last year’s seasonal trend into the final full week of November, including a significant dip in outbound tonnages from North America linked to last week’s Thanksgiving celebrations in the USA, according to the latest weekly figures from WorldACD Market Data. But overall global tonnages have held up better than this time last year, and outbound yields from Asia Pacific have continued to rise, week on week (WoW), whereas they were flat or declining in the equivalent period in 2022.

Weekly analysis

Preliminary figures for week 47 (20 to 26 November) show a -3% decrease in tonnages and a +2% increase in global average rates, compared with the previous week, based on the more than 400,000 weekly transactions covered by WorldACD’s data. Tonnages have followed a similar pattern as they did this time last year, although the week-over-week decrease in week 47 last year was significantly stronger (-8%).

And comparing weeks 46 and 47, combined, this year with the preceding two weeks (2Wo2W), overall tonnages fell -2%, while rates jumped by +5% and capacity was stable. The decrease was mainly caused by the Thanksgiving holiday in the USA (23 November), which caused tonnages ex-North America to slump by -10% (2Wo2W), exactly the same as this time last year.

Looking at the regional developments, on a 2Wo2W basis, the impact of Thanksgiving is clearly visible ex-North America to Europe (-16%) and to Asia Pacific (-10%) whereas tonnages to Central & South America still held firm (0%). Other notable decreases were recorded ex-Middle East & South Asia to Asia Pacific (-26%), ex-Middle East & South Asia to Europe (-6%) and ex-Central & South America to North America (-5%). At the same time, notable positive developments were seen ex-Africa to Europe (+7%) and ex-Europe to Central & South America (+6%). On the pricing side, most of the main origin regions saw record increases in average outbound rates, on a 2Wo2W basis, most notably ex-Asia Pacific (+7%), showing a jump in rates to, respectively, North America (+9%) and Europe (+8%). Furthermore, significant rate increases were noted ex-Europe to North America (+6%) and between Europe and Africa (+4% in both directions), as well as ex-North America to Asia Pacific (+4%). The only (slightly) negative changes were seen ex-Europe to Middle East & South Asia (-2%) and ex-Central & South America to North America (-1%).

Year-on-Year perspective

On a global basis, volumes remain above their levels this time last year, now standing +2% higher, YoY. And tonnages from a number of origin regions are now significantly above their levels in weeks 46 and 47 last year, including up +13% ex-Asia Pacific, +6% ex-Africa and +5% ex-Central & South America. But, as in previous recent reports, there were significant decreases in tonnages ex-North America (-14%) and ex-Europe (-6%). Meanwhile, overall available capacity has increased by +14% compared with last year, with capacity ex-Asia Pacific up by a noteworthy +40%. Other regions that also show double-digit percentage YoY capacity increases are ex-Central & South America (+14%) and ex-Middle East & South Asia (+11%). Significant increases were also recorded ex-Africa (+9%), ex-Europe (+9%) and ex-North America (+7%).Worldwide average rates are currently -21% below their levels this time last year, at an average of US$2.59 per kilo in week 47, although they remain significantly above pre-Covid levels (+42% compared to November 2019).

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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