The total volume of global air cargo transported in October 2022 decreased by 8% compared to October 2021 data. This comes from a report by CLIVE Data Services, a subsidiary of Xeneta.

For the eighth consecutive month, demand for cargo transportation has fallen year-on-year. This gap between demand last year and this year widened by 3% from September to October.

While the industry was hoping for an early peak ahead of the holiday season, this data suggests that may not be the case this year. Niall van de Wouw, Chief Airfreight Officer at Xeneta, commented: “We are six weeks away from Christmas and there are no signs that it will peak.”

In 2021, air freight rates from Asia to the US and EU skyrocketed towards the end of the year. However, rates on these routes have steadily declined throughout 2022 and have only just begun to plateau. This suggests that a significant increase may not be in sight as the year draws to a close.

Van de Wouw added: “I see very few signals that general air freight will increase in 2023 – whether it’s because people have higher personal bills or because people are spending more on services compared to goods. “

He also notes that maritime shipping’s recovery from its pandemic-related struggles has led to a decline in goods transported by air, with traders who switched to airplanes during the pandemic now returning to shipping via ocean-going vessels.