SEOUL, Oct. 10 — The costs of air and maritime cargo shipping surged to their all-time highs in South Korea, as logistics giants reduced their international schedules amid the COVID-19 pandemic, industry data showed Sunday.
The average air freight rate from the benchmark Hong Kong-United States routine stood at US$9.74 per kilogram as of Sunday, according to the Hong Kong-based air freight gauge TAC Index.
It broke the previous record of US$8.70 posted in May, representing an 80 percent jump from September of last year.
Air shipping costs have been on the rise since March 2020, as carriers suspended or reduced the number of their flights. The drop led to less belly freight, when leftover space on passenger planes is used to transport freight, which accounts for about 40 to 50 percent of the country’s air cargo.
Costs of marine freight shipping also skyrocketed to a new high.
The average offshore freight cost from the benchmark Shanghai Containerized Freight Index set a fresh record of 4,647.6 points Friday, up 3.2 times the number from a year ago.
Industry observers said the freight costs are likely to remain high due to strong demand, despite government efforts to expand shipping capacities.