The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight markets showing 2.3 per cent growth in demand (measured in freight tonne kilometers) over June 2013, a growth rate that is slower than the 4.9 per cent growth reported for May.
Nevertheless, overall growth for the first six months of 2014 stands at 4.1 per cent compared to the same period in 2013. That is much stronger than the weak 1.4 per cent increase reported for the full-year 2013 over 2012 levels, IATA noted. The strengthened growth has been underpinned by improving global trade and stronger business activity over the past year.
“At the half-way point of the year, it is clear that overall cargo demand is much stronger than in 2013. Carriers in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East have been the biggest beneficiaries of the improved market conditions. Europe is doing reasonably well, albeit still in recovery mode. The weak spot is the Americas,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.
“The general improvement in the economic environment is always good news for air cargo. This may not however, be a recovery as usual. First there are a lot of risks out there—from conflicts and sanctions to potential national defaults and fear of the Ebola outbreak.
“Second, while air cargo is slowly emerging from two years in the doldrums time has not stood still. Logistics has become an even more intensely competitive sector. Shippers value faster end-to-end transit times, greater reliability and improved efficiency. More clearly than ever, the building blocks for the future of air cargo are found in global programmes such as e-Freight and Cargo 2000. These are helping the entire value chain to deliver on the expectations of their customers,” said Tyler.
Asia-Pacific airlines’ freight volume grew 4.9 per cent in June, continuing the trend of strengthening results following the declines in the first quarter of the year. For the year-to-date, Asia-Pacific cargo is up 4.6 per cent and with Chinese manufacturing expanding again for the first time since December 2013, growth looks set to continue. Capacity expanded 4.3 per cent.