The report says one leading air cargo agent based in Hong Kong had said air freight rates had fallen so far this month they were now barely “nominal”.
Another air freight agent told IFW that all-in ad hoc freight rates into Europe from North Asia fell to US$3 (NZ$4.1) per kg at the end of last week.
A forwarding source based in mainland China said rates from Shanghai had fallen even further to approximately $2.80/kg over the weekend.
Another major air freight agent based in South-east Asia, who also asked not to be named, was cited as saying rates on services into Europe had fallen right across the continent over the last month.
The report says rates were down about 50% on late May and less than one-third of prices quoted in April, as backlogs related to the volcanic ash crisis in Europe were being cleared.
The industry is not expecting a peak period this year, according to one agent.
“Demand has subsided, and the momentum of the first half of the year has dissipated.
“We usually see a surge at the end of June as companies prepare for the quarter-end, but it didn’t happen this year. We’ll have to see about September,” the agent was quoted saying.
The lull on key lanes could be related to the European summer holidays, the decline of the euro in recent months and/or more cautious buying strategies, the report adds.
It says some manufacturers have cancelled orders, while others have moved back to using sea after having adapted inventories to slow-steaming.
An improvement could happen in September but not certain, the report adds.