Air freight market update | April 2021

Air freight volumes continue to grow strongly, driven by the stabilization of world trade, which is further stimulated by large-scale economic recovery programs such as the one recently announced by the U.S. government.

To illustrate just one example with figures - Frankfurt Airport (FRA), Europe’s largest air cargo airport by volume, reported its most successful 1st quarter ever, with 553,600 air freight tons and a YOY increase of 23.7% (source: fraport).  In addition, the tight ocean freight market is driving rapid growth in air freight tonnages.

The disruption of global supply chains due to capacity and equipment shortages has dramatically worsened with the blockade of the Suez Canal at the end of March.

  • Ever Given – Impact on the air freight business

Four weeks ago, the container ship Ever Given blocked the Suez Canal for one week. During this time, a queue of about 450 container ships was formed to pass the canal. This incident also affects the development of the oil price with an increase by 6% m-o-m April. In addition, the already existing sea freight departure delays will be extended by further weeks.

This incident has implications for the entire global transportation market, especially for the air freight business. The already tight market for air freight capacity will become even tighter, including air charter capacities.

Transpacific air freight rates increased in early April, despite the impact of the Ever Given Suez Canal blockade. An analysis of the Baltic Exchange Air Freight Index (BAI) indicated a 20.5% increase in air freight rates from Hong Kong to North America. The severity of the impact of the Ever Given grounding is yet to be observed, while sea and air capacity will remain disrupted in the coming weeks.

  • Supply & Demand Indexes and Oil Development

Please click the button below to read the latest Indexes on Supply & Demand and Oil Development

In case you need any additional information related to DACHSER’S air freight services and the current market development, please do not hesitate to contact your local DACHSER Air & Sea Logistics sales contact. 


Current supply & demand and oil development indexes PDF (0,11 MB)
DACHSER worldwide
Contact us
Contact Katrine Cheng