Asia Air Freight Rate Index Dives 31.9 Percent

Asia Air Freight Rate Index Dives 31.9 Percent

Air freight prices out of Asia plunged 31.9 percent year-over-year in December to their lowest point in 15 months, according to the Drewry Shipping Consultants Air Freight Price Index.

The index also was off 14.5 percent from November to December, as the usual seasonal decline in demand coupled with returning airline cargo capacity drove rates down.

The slide to 101.5 brought the Drewry index to its lowest point since September 2009, just before a rapid upturn in demand sent freight rates out of Asia soaring.

Airlines that parked more than 200 freighters at the height of the downturn have been returning planes to service since early 2010, however. The International Air Transport Association says global air freight capacity grew 8.9 percent in 2010, including a 14.3 increase in available freight space in Asia.

December's reading of the Drewry Air Freight Price Index faced a tough comparison since December 2009 marked a high point for the index.