ACI World reports on disappointing October cargo figures

Airports Council International (ACI) World, the representative body for airports around the world, has reported that the retraction in the global air freight industry continued in October, with volumes falling by 2.9% year on year across the world.

This was a slight improvement over September’s figure of -4%, however, and quite close to the industry’s year-to-date result, which was down at -3%.

“A weakened freight industry and a moderation in passenger traffic growth was recorded in October which was mostly a continuation of the general trend in 2019,” ACI World director general Angela Gittens said.

“The domestic freight market managed a slight recovery but with the volatile trade environment still present in the global stage, end-of-year results could go either way.

“The possibility of a decline in total freight volumes by year’s end, due primarily to international freight performance, however, is fairly assured,” she added.


While global freight volumes declined by 2.9%, the domestic cargo traffic element of the figures was actually in the black. Growth in the domestic market was 0.7% growth year on year in October, maintaining year to date results in the positive, at 0.6%.

As with September, Europe experienced the least significant decline among the major markets in October. The region’s freight volumes declined by 1.4%, bringing its year to date figure to -2.7%.

North America performed similarly on a year on year basis, declining by 1.5%. Its year to date growth rate remained higher, however, at -0.3% with two months left to the year.

The region’s domestic market remained in the positive, at 2.9% on a year to date basis, but its international market is now drawing closer to the decline experienced by the Asia Pacific region, at -4.9%.

The latter fell by 4% in October, bringing its year to date growth rate to -5.5%. Both the domestic and international segments remained in the negative in the Asia Pacific region, although the area’s international freight market has suffered the brunt of the losses this year, down 6.2% on a year to date basis.

In line with the global downtrend, Africa, the Middle East and the Latin America-Caribbean region all suffered declines in cargo traffic in October.

The results were less severe than in September for the first two markets, however, with these regions declining by 3.4% and 4% respectively.

Latin America-Caribbean performed much worse, down 8% on a year on year basis. By the end of the month, all of these regions were at a negative rate for the first ten months of the year; Africa was down 0.2%, while the two other regions were both down 3.1%.

As of January 2019, ACI was serving 646 members operating 1,960 airports across 176 countries.

Its statistics are based on a significant sample of airports that provide regular monthly reports to ACI. They represent approximately 70% of total freight traffic worldwide.

Earlier this week, ACI EUROPE provided more detail on disappointing traffic figures for its European members.

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