Global air cargo demand stabilises with rates holding firm

Date Added: 18 April 2023

Global air cargo demand stabilises with rates holding firm

With a strong presence in the global airfreight market, and an array of expedited import and export services through our subsidiary Davies Turner Air Cargo, we note that preliminary WorldACD figures for March indicate air cargo demand and pricing may be stabilising, with rates holding firm and year-on-year tonnages down just eight per cent, reports Bahrain's TradeArabia.

This compares with a 13 percent decline for Q4 2022 and a drop of 11 per cent expected for Q1 2023 as a whole.

Despite a market softening in the last 12 months, early 2023 worldwide revenues remain the third-highest in the last 15 years, and rates are around 50 percent above pre-Covid levels, WorldACD analysis reveals.

Preliminary figures for March indicate that global air cargo demand and pricing may start to stabilise, with average rates holding firm at around 50 per cent above pre-Covid levels and year-on-year tonnages down eight percent in March - compared with double-digit percentage declines in the final quarter of 2022 and in early 2023, according to WorldACD Market Data.

Initial WorldACD figures indicate that Q1 2023 is looking at a 11 percent drop in tonnages, compared with 13 percent decline for Q4 2022, with March's eight percent drop pointing towards a deceleration of the recent pattern of volume decline.

And despite softening in the last 12 months from the exceptionally high demand and pricing levels the previous year, the international air cargo market remains relatively strong in historical terms, with early 2023 worldwide revenues still the third-highest achieved in the last 15 years, figures and analysis from WorldACD reveal.

Analysis of the world's main sub-regions and specialist product categories also highlights some further positive indicators, including 14 of the 23 sub-regions identified by WorldACD experiencing positive revenue growth last year compared with the overall record figures of 2021.

It also reveals continued revenue growth within air cargo specialist products including temperature-controlled/pharma, dangerous goods, flowers, meat and live animal shipments with specialist products continuing to grow in importance and in revenue terms for carriers and the wider air freight sector, something that is also of interest to Davies Turner Air Cargo with our portfolio of freight and logistics services for niche products and markets as you can see here:

Although worldwide air freight tonnages and average yields have been on a generally declining trend since last March, to put this into a wider context WorldACD examined chargeable weight and revenue developments across the last 15 years.

In the IATA/CASS league table for 2020, Davies Turner Air Cargo was the UK’s highest placed independent freight forwarder, measured by CASS airline tonnage. As such, you can be assured that our experienced staff are always on hand to provide support as you negotiate the tricky air cargo market.

For more information about the Davies Turner group’s global air freight forwarding and logistics services, please contact or visit

Would you like more information?

I would like to opt-in to receive marketing communications from Davies Turner via:

Track your consignment online to get the latest status

Our core products – in air, ocean, overland forwarding and customs services, as well as in warehouse management and distribution

Click here to track your package

Back To Top

An image of the Top track logo An image of the ROSPA Gold award logo An image of the Rospa gold 22 logo An image of the 90001 logo An image of the 14001 logo An image of the investor in people logo An image of the system alliance europe logo An image of the iata logo An image of the aeo logo An image of the bifa logo An image of the ukwa logo