Thursday, November 28, 2019

Global Air Freight Trends Continue as Freight Volumes Dip

Special Products Tonnage However Grows Regardless
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – Global air freight trends continued to decline according to figures published by World ACD, which provides air cargo data statistics to the industry. During October cargo volumes dropping 5.0% compared with the same month in 2018. Yield in US$ decreased by 11%, and revenues from air cargo were 16% lower.

Of all origin regions, Latin America was hit hardest with a year on year volume decrease of 10%. The only origin region that remained stable was Africa. As destinations all regions contracted, ranging from Latin America (-8%) to the Middle East & South Asia (-1%). The build-up towards the end-of-year peak is not very different from last year: October was 7% higher than September, which is the same month on month growth as in 2018.

Of the Top-20 origin cities in the world, only two showed a year on year volume increase in October, and both are in China: Guangzhou (+16%) and Shanghai (+3%). Some ‘smaller’ origins in Asia Pacific also recorded positive results: Shenzhen +58%, Zhengzhou +19%, Ho Chi Minh City +7%; and we noted double digit growth from Perth (+22%).

Looking at the performance of the three large regions Asia Pacific, North America and Europe, for the year to date all three are in line with the worldwide average of 5% drop in volumes. But there are clear directional differences in two of the three markets between these regions.

Most balanced is the Asia Pacific - Europe market, with 2% more cargo going eastward than westward. The Transpacific and Transatlantic, however lack such equilibrium. There is much more cargo to North America than from North America: 68% on the Transpacific and 40% on the Transatlantic. Not surprisingly, in both markets the yields to North America are also much higher than in the other direction (78% resp. 65%, in US$).

However, when we compare this performance against that of 2018, the yields to North America dropped more than yields in the opposite direction. In other words, in both markets the directional difference in yields became smaller.

When we look at traffic in both directions for the three biggest regions the total volume on the six export and import markets dropped by 5.3% for the year to date. Special categories of goods performed better with pharma and high tech both up 7% and fish and seafood 11%.