ACI World notes ‘downward pressure’

According to data compiled and analysed by Airports Council International (ACI) World, the global airfreight market continued to decline in August, as volumes fell by 5% compared with the same month of 2018.

Global trade and economic challenges contributed to the tenth consecutive months of negative growth, whether in terms of domestic airfreight (which had been steady but fell 1.3% year on year in August) or international shipments (which declined by 6.6%).

For the year to date, volumes are down 2.9% compared to 2018.

“The industry’s overall growth has continued to suffer from downward pressure since the start of the year,” ACI World director general Angela Gittens summed up.

Results were poor across all regions. A sudden downturn in North America’s domestic market resulted in an overall drop of 3.2%, though it had been the most successful major market in resisting the decline of the industry as a whole.

Trade wars such as that between the US and China, and what ACI World described as “general volatility in diplomatic relations”, are likely to continue to affect North American air cargo in the coming months.

Also suffering from those factors, as well as the tension between Japan and South Korea, airfreight in the Asia-Pacific market fell 6.8% in August.

Europe, Latin America-Caribbean, the Middle East and Africa also all posted declines, down 3.7%, 5.2%, 5.9% and 10.3% respectively. Africa had previously escaped the general downward trend, ACI World noted.

Looking forward, Gittens stated: “We remain optimistic that sound diplomatic and policy decisions will prevail providing better conditions for global growth but, with an ongoing economic slowdown and trade wars still prevalent, the outlook for the industry in 2019 remains challenging.”

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