Cargo demand continues to shrink in March

Cargo demand declined again in March as the Asia Pacific region continues to stutter.

Figures from WorldACD show that cargo demand in chargeable weight declined by 2.4% year on year in March, resulting in the first quarter registering a fall of 3.1%. General cargo in March was down by 4.8%, while special cargo increased by 3.5%.

Average yields in terms of US dollars decreased by 5% year on year.

“Whilst Asia Pacific continues to be the world’s air cargo engine, it has become clear over the past half year that the engine runs much less smoothly than before,” WorldACD  said.

“Markets within Asia Pacific lost 7.6% year on year in the first quarter. In the same period, five of the 10 markets to/from Asia Pacific also performed below the world average, notably the larger ones Asia Pacific to Europe (-4.9%), Europe to Asia Pacific (-4.3%) and North America to Asia Pacific (-4.7%).”

However, the analyst said there were some trade lanes that registered increases during the first quarter.

Europe to North America was up by 0.6%, Asia Pacific to Middle East & South Asia (MESA) increased by 2.9%, Africa to Europe improved by 2.1% and intra-MESA was up 2.6%, as well as a number of smaller markets.

“Among the latter, Latin America to Asia Pacific and Africa to North America stood out (both +18%),” WorldACD said.

“The largest exporting countries with year-on-year growth in quarter one were India, UK, Australia, Vietnam, Kenya Ecuador, Turkey and Chile, with year-on-year growth ranging from 0.1% to 6.7%,” it added.

“With the exception of Vietnam and Kenya, growth in these origins was entirely thanks to growth in special cargo, most notably fish & seafood.”

Looking ahead, WorldACD said it does not expect the April  figures to cause a change in the trend seen so far this year.

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