Air cargo volumes up in Sept for second consecutive month: ACI
For the second month in a row, global air freight traffic grew 5.9 per cent in September, with international freight exceeding domestic freight growth (+7 per cent versus +3.3 per cent respectively). Accumulated air freight volumes inched up 1.8 per cent since the beginning of the year, according to the latest statistics from the Airports […]
November 22, 2016
By PLA Editor
For the second month in a row, global air freight traffic grew 5.9 per cent in September, with international freight exceeding domestic freight growth (+7 per cent versus +3.3 per cent respectively). Accumulated air freight volumes inched up 1.8 per cent since the beginning of the year, according to the latest statistics from the Airports Council International (ACI).
The September growth was mainly due to a strengthening of the international freight market (+7.0 per cent) and the surge in demand for electronic devices coming out of Asia. Domestic freight volumes grew 3.3 per cent during the same period. Accumulated air freight volumes inched up 1.8 per cent since the beginning of the year.
Similar to passenger traffic, all regions observed gains in air freight traffic for the month of September except Africa that recorded a loss of 4.2 per cent. Europe had the highest growth (+7.6 per cent) followed by Asia-Pacific and North America with robust increases of 6.7 and 5.5 per cent respectively.
Both regions of Latin America-Caribbean and the Middle East experienced 3.1 per cent growth in air freight traffic. Out of the top 20 air freight hubs, 15 airports reported growth rates of over 5.0 per cent and only two experienced slight losses. Because air freight is highly concentrated, with the top 20 air freight hubs occupying almost half of global air freight volumes, the strong growth among the major airports increased the global growth figure. While the increase in volumes is cause for optimism, it is still too early to identify a sustained recovery, ACI said.
In Africa, significant air freight losses were recorded at major commercial airports in Kenya (-10.6 per cent or -2,460 tonnes) and South Africa (-7.9 per cent or -2,310 tonnes). The two major air freight hubs of the region—Nairobi (NBO) and Johannesburg (JNB)—lost 7.7 per cent (-1,630 tonnes) and 10.3 per cent (-2,830 tonnes) of air freight volumes year-over-year. Cairo (CAI) is recovering with 6.0 per cent growth in air freight volumes as compared to the previous year (+1,270 tonnes).
In the Asia-Pacific region, India, Korea and China were the main contributors to September’s growth (9.3 per cent, 7.2 per cent and 6.7 per cent respectively). The top three airports with the highest volume increases were Hong-Kong (HKG, +7.2 per cent or +26,000 tonnes), Shanghai- Pudong (PVG, +7.4 per cent or +20,000 tonnes) and Seoul-Incheon (ICN, +8.1 per cent or +17,000 tonnes). The surge in volumes coincided with the release and replacement of mobile devices such as the Galaxy Note 7 and iPhone 7.
In Europe, all major freight hubs showed an increase in air freight activity. Germany, France and the United Kingdom—the three largest air freight markets in the region—witnessed 6.6, 5.1 and 6.7 per cent growth respectively for the month of September. However, the main drivers for the high regional freight movement were the double-digit growth rates observed at major commercial airports in Turkey, Italy, Spain, Luxembourg, Russian Federation and Switzerland (19, 10.8, 13.5, 14.1, 20.9 and 14.2 per cent respectively).
Istanbul-Atatürk (IST) posted the strongest air freight volume growth of 11,500 tonnes (+17.7 per cent), followed by Sheremetyevo (SVO, +129.5 per cent, or +10,000 tonnes) that had been recovering from extremely low freight activity. Significant growth was also observed at Frankfurt (FRA, +6.2 per cent or +10,000 tonnes), Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG, +5.2 per cent or +8,600 tonnes) and Luxembourg (LUX, +14.1 per cent or +8,300 tonnes).
The three largest air freight markets of the region—Colombia, Mexico and Brazil—showed mixed results in the month of September. While Colombia plunged into the negative territory at -0.7 per cent (-550 tonnes), Mexico grew by a strong 10.8 per cent rate (+6,640 tonnes) and Brazil started to show signs of recovery (-2.4 per cent or + 1,500 tonnes) at its major commercial airports. At the individual airport level, the highest growth in absolute terms was registered at Mexico City (MEX, +12.8 per cent or +4,650 tonnes) and Santiago (SCL, +13.8 per cent or + 3,190 tonnes).
The two dynamic air freight markets of the region—United Arab Emirates and Qatar—reported mixed results. While six commercial airports in the UAE reported a loss of 2.7 per cent (-9,970 tonnes) in air freight volumes as compared to the previous year, Doha (DOH) grew 16.3 per cent (+20,360 tonnes). Strong growth was also recorded in Israel (+24.8 per cent or + 5,130 tonnes) and Oman (+19.8 per cent or +2,165 tonnes).
The major drivers of North American traffic were Chicago-O’Hare (ORD, +16% or +22,500 tonnes), Anchorage (ANC, +5.6 per cent or +11,700 tonnes) and Los Angeles (LAX, +5.9 per cent or +9,000 tonnes). Memphis (MEM, -0.8 per cent or -3,070 tonnes) and Louisville (SDF, +4.6 per cent or +8,930 tonnes) showed mixed results.