Modal shift denting growth: Seabury-IATA

Air cargo has lost a lot of ground to ocean,” said Gert-Jan Jansen, head of Seabury Cargo Advisory in detailing the results a new study undertaken by Seabury the and International Air Transport Association.


Modal shift denting growth: Seabury-IATA


Air cargo has lost a lot of ground to ocean,” said Gert-Jan Jansen, head of Seabury Cargo Advisory in detailing the results a new study undertaken by Seabury the and International Air Transport Association.

This modal shift to ocean freight has cost the air cargo sector almost two percentage points of annual growth since 2000 resulting in the loss of 5.4 million tonnes of cargo. And there’s no sign of it abating he said, adding that while it’s not a new phenomenon, it is one that wasn’t widely recognised when global trade was still performing at healthy levels.

“Mode shift has eroded a significant portion of air freight growth and is expected to continue to do so, albeit at a moderate rate,” Jansen said. Annual global air freight volumes would be 15.2 million tonnes higher if air freight had retained its 3.1 per cent market share and over the past 13 years, 5.4 million tonnes have shifted from air to ocean – an average annual loss of more than 400,000 tonnes per year, the study indicated.

“Without this modal shift, the compound annual growth rate for air freight could have reached 4.5 per cent from 2000 to 2013, instead of the 2.6 per cent actually achieved.”