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Air cargo benefits from e-commerce fast fashion demand in May

The U-Freight Group, which has a strong presence in the expedited international airfreight business, as well as being an early entrant into the world of e-commerce logistics notes that global air freight volumes didn't subside after China's Lunar New Year holiday in February, as expected, and are still going strong, according to a report on the FreightWaves website.

It suggests that one reason is Asian exporters shifting modes because of slower ocean transits around the Red Sea conflict zone as well as robust bookings by Chinese e-commerce platforms fulfilling fast fashion orders in Europe and North America.

Air cargo demand grew 11 per cent year on year in April - the fourth month in a row that has happened, according to rate benchmarking platform Xeneta. The International Air Transport Association, widely followed by the broader public, also reported data showing volumes grew 10.3 per cent in March and 13 per cent during the first quarter.

Sector volume has increased by double digits for five consecutive months, cementing the recovery trend from a steep down cycle that began in 2022.

And the momentum carried over into early May with volumes up 12 per cent to 16 per cent, the latest data from WorldACD and Xeneta show.

Demand growth for air transport has tapered slightly in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia as ocean shipping schedules around the Red Sea conflict have become more predictable and cargo owners order goods with longer delivery times in mind, but volumes are still significant by historical standards.

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