AIRFREIGHT prices monitor TAC Index, which tracks and reviews real-time air cargo rates on major trade lanes, has expanded its range of indices to cover several more key routes, writes Thelma Etim.

Auditable spot-prices on the four new routes of Vietnam-to-Europe, USA-China, USA-South America and USA-Europe are drawn primarily from data collected from “millions of transactions” from freight forwarders, it reveals. These data will be published on a weekly basis, says the company.

The latest analysis confirms that airfreight shipment prices have skyrocketed and continue to remain artificially high following the outbreak of the global health pandemic and the resultant grounding of passenger aircraft belly-hold cargo capacity. The sporadic closures of national borders in the wake of new variants of Coronavirus has further contributed to the extremely volatile air cargo market.

The new more expansive price-tracking service started in February 2020 when Freight Investor Services (FIS), a freight and commodity derivatives inter-dealer brokerage, teamed up with TAC to announce a new way to manage price risks for shippers and for airlines. Fellow index member Baltic Exchange, which already provided benchmark price assessments for maritime markets that are used to settle derivatives and physical trades worth billions of dollars every year, completed the partnership to publish the first Baltic Air Freight Index (BAI) of airfreight prices, which now covers more than 32 major air trade lanes.

“Airlines have now [also] begun to supply [their] data to TAC Index as they increasingly note the value of greater price transparency for all parties in air cargo pricing data,” reads a TAC Index statement.

“Inclusive of shippers of all sizes and shipping frequency, incorporating inputs from millions of airwaybills (AWBs), these indices can be used for performance-benchmarking, risk management and are ideally suited for Index Linked Agreements (ILAs) between various parties in air cargo,” it notes.

John Peyton Burnett, TAC’s managing director, insists: “Our newly launched routes have become important trade lanes for air cargo in recent years, and we are very happy to have hit thresholds to begin publishing indices from these markets.

“These are also some of our first country-to-country pairings, more of which we will be publishing in future. We anticipate a number of new routes coming online in the coming weeks as we continue to expand our offerings.”

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