Airfreight rates stabilised in April, holding onto gains made in March as Asian factories reopened following the Chinese New Year holiday period, according to Drewry in its latest Sea & Air Shipping Insight. Drewry’s East-West Air Freight Price Index, a weighted average of airfreight rates across 21 East-West trades, gained 1.5 points in April to 104.3 points.
This followed a 6.6 point rise in March and took the index to its highest level since the end of last year. Freight rates remained stable on most of the 21 East-West trades that contribute to Drewry’s Index.
Drewry anticipated that the trade would hold onto the pricing gains of March, as this time of year usually heralds some recovery in seasonal demand, which buoys pricing. Asia-origin traffic is boosted by high-end summer fashion apparel and more high tech consumer goods launches.
But the recovery in airfreight pricing coincided with a bigger rise in container shipping rates, sending Drewry’s East-West Airfreight Price Multiplier down 0.5 points to 13.9 points. This brought the differential between air and ocean pricing down nearer to seasonal norms.