IATA: Cargo crisis may have reached bottom

Despite the continuing plunge of air cargo volumes – down again by 22 per cent in February year on- year – the International Air Transport Association (IATA), said that the recent run of declines could have reached thebottom. In fact, distinctly optimistic words have begun emerging from IATA, with its chief economist Brian Pearce saying […]


Despite the continuing plunge of air cargo volumes – down again by 22 per cent in February year on- year – the International Air Transport Association (IATA), said that the recent run of declines could have reached thebottom.

In fact, distinctly optimistic words have begun emerging from IATA, with its chief economist Brian Pearce saying there may even be not simply a leveling off , but an improvement in the sharp declines witnessed since December.

“There may be some light at the end of the tunnel with air freight,” Pearce told reporters during an end-March briefing.

While emphasised that the cargo market “is no where near the point” where a full recovery is expected but “we’re looking more at 10 per cent drops” in monthly freight volumes, he said.

While the declines have flattened out at around 20-22 per cent, Pearce said he expects there may be a slight pick-up over the next few months, but added that FTKs will still be about 10 per cent below last year’s levels.

Pearce says IATA is now forecasting that cargo traffic will go “sideways” rather than down over the remainder of the year based partly on surveys showing shippers to be not as pessimistic as they were a few months ago. Inventories are also at record lows and cargo carriers including FedEx have recently indicated they are seeing some stabilisation in the market.