Air cargo growth in suspense

03 / 07 / 2013

  • The stall in cargo markets appears to be the result of a recent softening in growth in developing economies, including China

    The stall in cargo markets appears to be the result of a recent softening in growth in developing economies, including China

GLOBAL air cargo markets remained flat in May and appear to be in suspended animation.

IATA figures show the month broadly followed the disappointing trend of the last 18 months.

Global freight tonne kilometers increased just 0.8 per cent compared to a year ago.Meanwhile, capacity increased by 2.1 per cent, causing load factors to fall to 44.9 per cent – their lowest level since the post crisis recovery.

“As about 60 per cent of global air cargo utilises capacity in the bellies of passenger aircraft, managing capacity at a time when growth in air travel is outpacing that of cargo is particularly challenging,” says a statement.

The stall in cargo markets appears to be the result of a recent softening in growth in developing economies, including China. Moreover, business confidence is flat globally and continues to decline in some developing economies, indicating that the chances of a significant upturn in the near future are unlikely.

“It is getting harder to find optimistic signs for air cargo growth,” says IATA director general Tony Tyler. The Middle East remains a bright spot, and the rate of decline in the Eurozone is easing.

“But this is offset by the weakening of expansion in Asia-Pacific. It is now clear that the positive global upswing in air cargo at the end of 2012 was an illusion.Air cargo, along with many parts of the world economy, appears to be in suspended animation at the moment,” he adds.