Air cargo picked up in May, demand still weak

Shipments are increasing as the global economy gradually reawakens from a coronavirus-induced slumber and that is translating into slightly better air cargo demand, new data shows.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported air cargo volume fell 20.3% in May from 2019, but that was better than April’s year-over-year decline of 25.6%. International demand, measured by the amount of cargo tons times distance carried, dropped 21.5% in May.

The trade group’s figures show better market conditions for airlines than those from market research firm World ACD, which recently said airfreight volume sank 29% below last year’s level but improved 11% from April. It uses the dimensional weight of shipments, a different metric than IATA.

IATA also announced Wednesday that May passenger demand ticked up from April – with a drop of 91.3% compared to May 2019. Passenger traffic was down 94% in April year-over-year. International air travel in May nearly came to a standstill, with 98% less passenger traffic than the prior year. U.S. domestic traffic was down 89.5% in May, an improvement over the 95.6% decline experienced in April.

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Source: American Shipper

Transpacific ocean freight market ‘exploding’ as US demand rebounds

Ocean freight prices on the transpacific trade have been “exploding” in recent weeks, according to a key global ocean freight forwarding executive, as US importers restock at a time of tight container shipping capacity.

In an interview last week with Lloyd’s Loading List, DHL Global Forwarding’s head of global ocean freight Dominique von Orelli said: “We see a huge peak, with customers shipping much more than forecasted or was anticipated. It’s clear that the US is restocking and filling up stores and so the rates are exploding. There is no space; the transpacific is under pressure – and much more severe than Asia-Europe.”

As on the Asia-Europe lane, he stressed that DHL has its own transpacific capacity reserved with lines, but problems are arising when shippers want more space than originally requested.

“We have secured sufficient capacity for our customers and we won’t have a problem with what is forecasted,” he explained. “But once customers want to ship much more than originally been forecasted, the capacity situation will become challenging.”

He said whether the current surge in shipment levels into the US would develop into a more traditional transpacific peak season was difficult to predict.

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Source: Lloyd’s Loading List

Ocean Alliance passes 2M to take the lead on Asia-Europe market share

The Ocean Alliance has overtaken the 2M alliance, adding the market share lead on the Asia-Europe tradelane to its already dominant position on the transpacific.

The vessel-sharing alliance of CMA CGM, Cosco (including OOCL) and Evergreen did not follow rivals 2M and THE alliances in temporarily suspending an Asia-North Europe loop through to October, and has lifted its capacity share to 39% from 37% a year ago, according to Alphaliner data.

Market share in terms of capacity offered by 2M partners Maersk and MSC remains at 37%, while the THEA grouping of Hapag-Lloyd, ONE, Yang Ming and HMM is down two percentage points, at 23%.

The consultant said total vessel capacity on the Asia-Europe trades was “still well below pre Covid-19 levels”, at 361,100 teu as at 1 June, 17.1% lower than a year ago.

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Source: The Load Star