Glimmers of hope for air cargo despite weak end to last year

The end of last year saw some glimmers of hope for air cargo in certain areas of the world despite overall weakness in demand in November.
The latest figures from analyst WorldACD show that November was “not a good month for air cargo” as for the first time in 2.5 years the month saw a decline in year-on-year volumes with a dip of 0.9%.
When viewing September, October and November together, there was year-on-year growth of 1%, “well below” the 2.6% increase recorded for the year until August.
Also, November was weaker than October for the first time since 2011, WorldACD said.
US dollar yields improved for the third month in a row, but the 1% increase was smaller than the usual yield improvement from October to November.
However, there were some positives to be drawn from the November figures, as a result of growth in China and Hong Kong.
“Together, these usual growth engines account for almost 30% of worldwide revenues,” the analyst said.
“Their exports by air to Europe had been below previous year’s volumes for a good part of 2015, but over the past months this negative pattern was reversed.
“The destination North America had already performed well since the beginning of 2015 and continued that trend towards the year’s end.
“And the yield developments (in US dollar) were even more encouraging. Contrary to recent figures from other sources, we observe rather positive yield patterns for the origin Asia Pacific: between August and November, yields rose by 17% to Europe, and by 10% to North America.”
For other regions during the three months, demand from Africa, Europe and the Middle East & South Asia (MESA) grew more than average by 4.4% and 2% respectively, whilst volumes from the Americas contracted compared to 2014.
In Central and South America there were strongly growing yields between August and November.
Intra-Asia Pacific air cargo carriers witnessed a year-on-year decline of 4% in November, and by 1.3% for the last three months.  The average US dollar yield in the area fell by 4% since August 2015.
Carriers from North America contracted by 3% year-on-year on average in terms of volumes over the past three months.
Competitors from Asia Pacific and Europe hardly grew. Carrier groups from Africa and MESA noted growth of 2% and 7% respectively.

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