Air cargo suffers ‘onslaught’ in June, says WorldACD

Data from air cargo market analyst WorldACD shows a decline in global airfreight volumes of 8.9% in June, compared to the same month of 2018.

The load factor dropped 3.3 percentage points and yield also fell, by 6.3%. As a result, WorldACD said airlines suffered a year-on-year fall in revenues of almost 15% in June.

“Only high tech (+3.7%), pharmaceuticals (+5.3%), flowers (+4.6%) and fish/seafood (+4.5%) resisted the onslaught, but the first two of these categories paid a price for their volume growth in the form of yields falling more than volume increased,” the monthly report said.

African exports grew by 1.2% year on year, while volumes out of Europe fell 12.5%.

Looking at the first half of 2019, WorldACD said, “The further we get into 2019, the poorer the results: the second quarter contributed most to the sharp reversal of air cargo’s fortunes this year compared with 2018.”

Admittedly, last year saw “extraordinary growth”, but even “more realistic” comparisons of 2019 with 2017 are not favourable, with global first-half volumes down by 0.6% over two years ago.

Over the course of the first six months of 2019, total weight of airfreight carried fell by 4.8%. Asia Pacific tonnage decreased by 5.6%, North America by 5.5% and Europe by 5.3%.

There were gains for exports from some of the sub-regions, including Central Asia (up 20.1%), Northern Europe (up 10%), and North and East Africa (up 3% and 2.6% respectively).

Cargo bound for North, West and East Africa also grew.

Considering the impact of the trade war between China and the US during the first half of the year, WorldACD said: “Business between the two ‘supermarkets’ is not worse off than the air cargo business elsewhere. Both volume and revenue development from China to the USA were completely in line with the drop in China’s total exports by air.”

However: “From the US to China the picture was the same for overall cargo sales, but with one important difference: the volume drop to China was twice as big as the general volume drop from the USA, but this was totally offset by a strong yield increase. In both directions, most carriers based in North America did markedly better than most of their Northeast Asian and Chinese counterparts.”


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