Air cargo demand declines "bottom out" after November slide

11 / 01 / 2016

Global airfreight volume declines may have “bottomed out” after another slide was recorded in November.

The latest statistics from IATA show that air cargo demand in tonne km (FTK) terms declined by 1.2% in November compared with a year earlier, although November 2014 was a particularly strong month.

Volumes were higher than the level recorded in October, indicating that “the decline in cargo demand may be bottoming out”, IATA said.

IATA’s director general and chief executive Tony Tyler said: “The freight performance in November was a mixed bag. Although the headline growth rate fell again, and the global economic outlook remains fragile, it appears that parts of Asia-Pacific are growing again and globally, export orders are looking better.

“In fact, the downward trend in FTK volumes appears to be bottoming out. But there is a great deal of uncertainty. The current volatility of stock markets shows how much the health of the global economy — upon which air cargo depends — remains on a knife-edge.”

For November, negative year-on-year comparisons occurred across all regions with the exception of the Middle East, which recorded an FTK increase of 5.4%.

Europe was down 2%, although improvements in Eurozone manufacturing and export orders are likely to support European airfreight demand in the coming months, North America by 3.2%, and Asia-Pacific by 1.5%.

“The comparative weakness in these regions was driven largely because the performance in November 2014 was very strong. Latin American and African markets also fell, by 6.4% and 6.0% respectively,” IATA said.

Load factors increased in November by 0.6% compared to October, supported by the rise in volumes as well as a contraction in capacity.

"Load factors are still very low, however, and below 44% on a seasonally adjusted basis," IATA said.