Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Air Cargo Figures Show a Steep Decline in Full Freighter Volumes

Concerns at Leading European Airport Over Half Year Statistics
Shipping News Feature
NETHERLANDS – WORLDWIDE – A deterioration of the air freight market coupled with the lack of suitable capacity has been blamed and is concerning the management at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol following the release of figures showing how total cargo volume decreased by 9.2% to 767,519 tonnes, compared with 2018, but total belly cargo volume increased by 0.9% as the mid-year figures were released.

The figures show full freighter cargo volumes were down by 16.4%, with a decrease of full freighter air transport movements (ATMs) by 14.4%, whilst total belly cargo ATMs increased by 3.3%. Bart Pouwels, Head of Cargo, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, explained:

“The mid-year figures reflect our expectations for a decrease in overall freighter volume as we continue to face slot scarcity, on top of a weakening of the global air cargo market. As a main port for the Netherlands, we are concerned about the negative developments within the air cargo market and the consequences it has for the overall network of our airlines at Schiphol.

”With a decrease of full freighters, we may become less attractive for freight forwarders, as the forwarders need a mix of full freight and belly cargo to operate sustainably. This may result in forwarders leaving Schiphol and the airport becoming less attractive for airlines as belly cargo contributes significantly to certain routes. So, the consequence may be that the network may be impacted as well. We are keen to maintain our network of destinations for which we need to keep our cargo volumes at a sustainable level.”

The figures show that Shanghai, China, remains the main destination for AAS, reaching 88,481 tonnes in the first six months of 2019, despite the ongoing trade tensions with the US, followed by Moscow, Russia, with 38,633 tonnes. There was a decrease in volumes across all markets, apart from small increases in North America outbound and the Middle East inbound.

The Asian inbound market was down by 10% to 131,725 tonnes, and outbound decreased by 13% to 130,520 tonnes. European figures show a 15% inbound decline to 47,493 tonnes, compared to the same period last year, and outbound was down by 8% to 54,756 tonnes. The North American market saw a 13% inbound decrease to 56,314 tonnes, and an increase in outbound cargo of 4% to 82,242 tonnes.

The Latin American market showed negative growth with inbound cargo down 10% to 58,666 tonnes, and an 8% decrease in outbound cargo to 37,184 tonnes. The African market showed negative outbound results with a 4% decrease in cargo to 25,489 tonnes, while inbound cargo decreased by 20% to 46,518 tonnes. The Middle Eastern region went up by 5% (inbound) but declined 6% (outbound) to respectively 44,603 and 52,008 tonnes.