Another demand decline for air cargo in February

Air cargo continued to see airfreight demand decline on a year ago in February, with the Asia Pacific region coming under particular pressure.

WorldACD figures show that in February air cargo demand in terms of chargeable weight decreased by 5.8% year on year, while cargo load factors were down by three percentage points on a year ago and yield dropped by 6.2% to $1.79 per kg.

The analyst pointed out that results at the start of the year are often affected by the timing of the Chinese New Year and it is therefore better to look at January and February combined to get a better picture of how the market is progressing.

“The area Asia Pacific took the largest beating in the first two months of 2019: outgoing volumes were down year on year (YoY) by 6.8%, incoming by 6.1%, against the backdrop of a 3.6% worldwide decrease.

“All other regions also suffered in incoming traffic, with YoY percentages ranging from -5% for Central & South America to -0.6% for North America. In YoY outgoing business, performances ranged from +2.5% for Africa to -3.8% for North America.

“Looking at the individual months, January showed a lull in the business to Asia Pacific, with a commensurate drop in outgoing business from the origins Europe and North America.

“In February it was Asia Pacific’s outgoing business that suffered most, particularly to the destinations Europe and North America.”

However, the analyst did point out that performance in January and February this year was still better than 2016 and 2017.

“At this moment in time, it seems harder and harder to achieve the 2% to 3% growth predicted for the full year 2019 by some of the industry players,” the analyst warned.

“Of the top-25 markets, only five showed volume growth YoY in Jan/Feb: the UK, Australia, Kenya, Vietnam and Ecuador.

“Of the 100 largest origin countries, 31 showed a more than 3% YoY volume growth in the first two months of the year, seven of which also managed to get a yield increase in USD. Apart from Turkey, none of these seven belonged to the top-30 markets, however.”

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