Market Letters

International Airfreight Market Update – Week 45, 2020

Rates from China seem to have lost their steam though inclement weather, Covid-19 restrictions and space difficulties are raising airfreight rates from Southeast Asia. With more lockdowns on the horizon for the northern hemisphere, foodstuff is one industry that is hoping for a less painful 4th quarter.

Here is a short list of what we are seeing so far this week:

Air Rates from China Appear to Top Off; Hong Kong Rates Climb: After two weeks of uncertainty it seems that airfreight rates from China have stabilized. Shipments to the USA, are benefiting, coast to coast, from at least a $0.10/kg reduction compared to last week’s benchmark. While that may not seem to be overly exciting news, the alternative would be a further crunch in space and surge in cost. News from Hong Kong is not as fortunate, where rates have climbed nearly $1/kg and are quickly exceeding $10.00 per KG.

Super Typhoon Goni Bares Down on S.E. Asia: Goni has pummeled the Philippines causing airport shutdowns and major disruption to air travel. The storm, said to be the most powerful on record this year, is now expected make landfall in Vietnam on Thurs, Nov. 5th. Significant flight cancelations have been reported and more are expected over the next couple of days. Weather is not the only issue – operational difficulties related to Covid-19 restrictions are exacerbating airfreight problems in this region. Rates have seen a 30% increase this week and next available flights, from time of booking request, are currently 7-10 days out.

New Lockdowns Won’t Have the Same Impact on Food Sellers:  Needless to say, 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone. Foodstuff sellers were especially impacted on products that typically ship airfreight, such as vegetables & fruits. At the beginning of the year, when nationwide lockdowns were implemented, sellers could not find air services to most destinations and at an affordable rate. The result was massive loss of international sales. Sellers swiftly converted some of that business to more local, retail sales but it was not enough to cover the gap. With new lockdowns coming into play across the globe, the approach is more regional than nationwide. The more strategic response, coupled with more flights operating, is expected to soften the blow this time around.

Charter Schedule: Laufer Group is prepared to assist with your space needs, for the month of November LGI affiliates have established the following charter schedule:

  • PVG to ORD:         Mon, Wed, Thu and Sat
  • PVG to LCK:          Mon and Sat
  • PVG to LAX:          Thu and Sun
  • CTU to SFO:          Sat
  • CTU to LAX:         Sun
  • SZX to LAX:          Tue and Sun
  • SZX to JFK:          Tue and Sun

Please contact for spot rates or contact your local sales representative.