January’s air cargo volumes up 3.2 per cent

Worldwide January air cargo volumes were up 3.2 per cent year-over-year (YoY), according to data from Netherlands-based consultancy World ACD.
It observed that the modest increase was “not too bad given the fact that January 2014 was already part of the recovery that started in autumn 2013”.
World ACD, which sources data from airlines, stated: “In any highly-cyclical small-margin business a drop in unit revenues of almost 11 per cent year-over-year and of 8.5 per cent month-over-month (MoM) would make all alarm bells ring.
“In the first month of 2015, such a drop in unit revenues – in this case revenues per kg, measured in US$ – is exactly what happened to the worldwide air cargo business. Yet, we maintain that alarm bells can remain silent, for three reasons.”
World ACD believes that almost two thirds of the yield drop was caused by decreasing surcharges, adding that it was “perhaps a surprising development for all those who referred recently to what they called ‘anecdotal evidence’ that surcharges have not come down”. 
It continued: “The reason behind this decrease would seem to be good news for everyone involved, with a possible exception for the oil companies. A second element in the US$-yield decrease was the deteriorating exchange rates of virtually all currencies against the dollar.
“Lastly, there was the usual effect of January showing lower yields than December: minus 4.4 per cent in Jan 2013, and minus three per cent in Jan 2014.”
North America, at 8.3 per cent, and Asia Pacific at 5.5 per cent, were the origin regions with the largest YoY volume growth, with North America being the region with the smallest volume decline compared to December.
Said the research house: “A substantial part of the growth in the US came from Pacific States business destined for Asia, presumably a nice windfall from the port problems,” said the research house in reference to the eight month work to rule – now ended – at the US west coast container ports
But World ACD said that the MoM performance was “particularly worrisome” for the Central & South America region, with a 19 per cent volume loss accompanied by a yield drop of 10 per cent,” adding: “January also marked this region’s first YoY volume contraction.”
Africa had the smallest YoY  percentage growth over twelve months, whilst Europe and the Middle East & South Asia (MESA) showed “business as usual” by continuing their below average growth pattern”.
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