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Air cargo firms desperate to find planes to transport freight

AIR freight demand is such that companies are desperate to find enough aircraft to move cargo, reports New York's FreightWaves

17 May 2021 - 19:00
AIR freight demand is such that companies are desperate to find enough aircraft to move cargo, reports New York's FreightWaves.

Logistics professionals and analysts say capacity is rapidly tightening as more shippers turn to the air for cross-border transport, sending air cargo rates sharply higher. The market is already running at peak levels five months before peak season normally starts, said the report.



Shipping demand is high across the board, from manufacturing and pharmaceuticals to e-commerce, electronics and food products.



The IHS Purchasing Managers' Index for the US reached 63.7 before ticking down last week, showing the steepest expansion for the manufacturing sector since 2007. On a global basis, manufacturing reached a 10-year high in March of 55 (readings above 50 signal growth) and global export orders rose to 53.4 from 51 in February.



The PMI is a leading indicator for air freight tonnage, which means that more manufactured goods are likely to be moved by air during the second quarter.



The International Air Transport Association now forecasts air cargo demand for 2021 will increase 13 per cent from last year and be 2.8 per cent above the 2019 total.



'There has been a big bounce back from the slowdown we saw in March with prices strengthening, driven by demand outstripping capacity in several markets, with some lanes recording higher pricing levels versus the highs seen in 2020,' said Gareth Sinclair, a revenue management adviser at price data provider TAC Index, in a monthly industry update.


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