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Bimonthly Market Outlook - February 2022

Updated: Feb 18

The latest news about Air Freight and Sea Freight Market in February 2022.


Key Points:

  • The rebound in economic activity in 2021 means output in most OECD countries has now surpassed levels in late-2019. The latest GDP growth projections show how they are now converging on their pre-pandemic path.

  • As of the 1st of January 2022, 85 484 commercial flights were flown per day in the last seven days, compared to 61 047 and 108 538 in 2021 and 2020, respectively.

  • International air cargo capacity was up +2% between 3-16 Jan compared to the same weeks in 2019. It is up for the first time since COVID, although mostly due to a capacity dip in the first weeks of 2019.

  • 56 canceled sailings have been announced between weeks 05 and 08, out of a total of 553 scheduled sailings, representing a 10% cancellation rate.

  • Schedule reliability dropped again to 32.0%; the lowest ever global schedule reliability since SeaIntelligence started the measurement in 2011.

  • According to the latest data on the Alphaliner Weekly Newsletter, last year saw a massive 31.2% capacity increase on the Asia-North America trade.


Economy

EXPORT RESTRICTIONS ON INDUSTRIAL RAW MATERIALS


Inflation in the OECD area surged to 5.8% in the year to November 2021, compared with 5.2% in October (and 1.2% in November 2020), its highest rate since May 1996.


The rise was particularly marked in the US, where year-onyear inflation climbed to 6.8% in November from 6.2% in October. In the euro area, the corresponding rates were 4.9% and 4.1% (compared to -0.3% a year earlier).


Energy price inflation in the OECD area was up 27.7% in the year to November (October: 24.3%), its highest rate since June 1980, while food prices rose 5.5% (October: 4.6%). Excluding food and energy, inflation was a more moderate 3.8% (October: 3.5%) – although it contributed significantly to headline inflation in many large economies.





Air Freight

Market Trends (16/01 - 23/01)


In week 3, worldwide volume increased by +3% compared with previous week. Worldwide capacity increased by +2% week-overweek.


On a regional level, volumes from almost all regions increased compared with previous week, with strongest increase from Central & South America at +12%, while Middle East & South Asia showed a decrease of -2%.


The average worldwide yield/rate in week 3 increased compared with previous week.




Market Trends (03/01 - 16/01)


Global international air cargo capacity has decreased -1% in the last two weeks. Global air cargo capacity by passenger aircraft has been almost flat since October.


The growth in 2022 air cargo capacity (vs. 2019) is mostly due to the limited dip in capacity over the holiday season. In the next capacity update this comparison is likely to be negative again.


Air cargo capacity ex-China at the start of 2022 is similar to that in 2021, as freighter declines cancel out belly gains. As a result of COVID restrictions, HKG has (at least temporarily) lost air cargo capacity share to Shanghai (PVG)



Air Cargo Capacity


Commercial Flights Tracker



As of the 1st of January 2022, 85 484 commercial flights were flown per day in the last seven days, compared to 61 047 and 108 538 in 2021 and 2020, respectively.


On a year-to-date basis, 2 659 594 commercial flights have been flown this year, 32% more than 2021 and 23% less than 2020.



Sea Freight

Cancelled Sailings - 01/02


Across the major trades: Transpacific, Transatlantic and Asia-North Europe & Med, 56 cancelled sailings have been announced between weeks 05 and 08, out of a total of 553 scheduled sailings, representing 10% cancellation rate. During this period, 71% of the blank sailings will be occurring in the Transpacific Eastbound trade, and mostly to the West Coast.


Over the next 4 weeks, The Alliance has announced 28 cancellations, followed by 2M and Ocean Alliance with 9 and 5 cancellations, respectively. On the lucrative East-West trade lanes, capacity increased after carriers rushed to take advantage of lofted revenues, and deviated their vessels from other regions to the Transpacific and Asia-Europe trades. Intra-Asia trade lanes in particular have been suffering from reduced service and, space - resulting in a shortage of empty equipment. This has led to inflated ocean freight costs, which are difficult to bear for Asian manufacturers, whose business models’ rely on low production costs




World Container Index (WCI)


The composite index decreased by 2.9% this week, but, remains 79% higher than a year ago


The average composite index of the WCI, assessed by Drewry for year-to-date, is $9,518 per 40ft container, which is $6,594 higher than the fiveyear average of $2,924 per 40ft container.


Freight rates on Shanghai – Los Angeles and Shanghai – New York fell 5% each per 40ft box; lowest since December. Similarly, rates on Shanghai – Rotterdam dropped 3% per feu. Rates on Rotterdam – Shanghai, Shanghai – Genoa, Los Angeles – Shanghai, Rotterdam – New York and New York – Rotterdam hovered around previous weeks level. Drewry expects rates to remain stable in the coming week.




Global Schedule Reliability


Schedule reliability dropped again, this time by -1.2 percentage points M/M to 32.0%; the lowest ever global schedule reliability since Sea-Intelligence started the measurement in 2011. On a Y/Y level, schedule reliability was -12.5 percentage points lower.


Despite the low schedule reliability in 2021, there hasn’t been much fluctuation, with the global scores hovering between 32%-40% for the most part. The average delay for late vessel arrivals increased to 7.33 days; the fifth consecutive month with the delay figure above 7 days.


Fleet Capacity



Capacity Outlook (week 4 - 15)








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