Latest IATA cargo figures show decline may be bottoming out

Air cargo volumes (measured in FTKs) were down 1.2 per cent in November 2015, compared to November 2014, but expanded compared to October 2015 and were higher than the low point in August.


IATA International Air Transport Association Tony Tyler


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight markets showing air cargo volumes (measured in Freight Tonne Kilometers) were down 1.2 per cent in November 2015, compared to November 2014. Total cargo volumes, however, expanded compared to October 2015 and were higher than the low point in August. IATA highlighted this may indicate that the decline in cargo demand may be bottoming out.

The negative year-on-year comparisons occurred across all regions with the exception of the Middle East which grew by 5.4 per cent. Of the major markets that together comprise more than 80 per cent of total trade, Europe was down 2.0 per cent, North America by 3.2 per cent, and Asia-Pacific by 1.5 per cent. The comparative weakness in these regions was driven largely because the performance in November 2014 was very strong. Latin American and African markets also fell, by 6.4 and 6.0 per cent respectively.

“The freight performance in November was a mixed bag. Although the headline growth rate fell again and the global economic outlook remains fragile, it appears that parts of Asia-Pacific are growing again and globally, export orders are looking better. In fact, the downward trend in FTK volumes appears to be bottoming out. But there is a great deal of uncertainty. The current volatility of stock markets shows how much the health of the global economy – upon which air cargo depends – remains on a knife-edge,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.



  • John Hugh Doyle

    What is the story on Cargo yields? Most airlines, if they bother to do a thorough analysis, would discover that they would be financially (and operationally), better off exiting the air cargo business.

    • shadsfan

      Absolutely true. When you take all the DOC’s, maintenance, leases, airport & ground handling fees into account, there has been negligible, if any, profit for sked carriers for the last twenty plus years. A contribution to costs is all very well but without bums in the seats upstairs, cargo revenue as a single entity may actually be a negative contribution to most passenger airlines and were they to do a forensic analysis they would almost certainly find it worthwhile to leave the belly’s empty or concentrate strictly on high yield, time sensitive traffic only.