Freight demand dips in May

GLOBAL freight traffic dropped four per cent in May compared with May 2010.

Carriers in all regions except Latin America (up 1.5 per cent) and the Middle East (8.1 per cent) saw airfreight demand weaken. The largest fall was for Asia-Pacific carriers with a 9.2 per cent drop showing the impact of disrupted supply chains in Japan and tighter economic policies in China. Declines by African carriers (down 7.8 per cent) reflected the disruption in Egypt and Tunisia. European and North American carriers had modest falls of 2.2 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) blamed the post-recession peak of the re-stocking cycle last year for the dip, but added that there continues to be a renewed upward trend with freight volumes two per cent higher than the start of the year.

Nonetheless, this is still 5.5 per cent lower than IATA’s forecast for 2011.

“While the continued expansion of world trade at around six per cent annually could lend support to accelerated freight growth in the second half of 2011, the performance so far this year has been lower than expected,” IATA said in a statement.

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