World Air Freight Growth Continues To Ease

August 8, 2018

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The global air freight market continues to cool, with the deterioration in world trade a “real concern”, IATA said in its latest market update.

The growth in air freight demand in June was up 2.7 percent against the same month last year. That compares with the 4.2 percent increase reported for May.

Demand growth for the first half of 2018 was also weaker at 4.7 percent, less than half 2017’s H1 rate.

Airlines continued to add capacity during June, with available freight tonne km up by 4.1 percent. Capacity growth has now exceeded demand growth each month since March.

“Air cargo continues to be a difficult business with downside risks mounting. We still expect about 4 percent growth over the course of the year. But the deterioration in world trade is a real concern,” IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac said.

All regions saw increased demand except Africa which dropped 8.5 percent. Usually buoyant Asia Pacific returned a miserly 1.5 percent increase in demand, the lowest rate of growth reported.

Most regions added freight capacity, with Africa and Latin America the only two to report a reduction.

IATA’s de Juniac is cautious on future air freight demand saying that while air cargo is partly insulated from rising tariff barriers, “an escalation of trade tension resulting in a ‘reshoring’ of production and consolidation of global supply chains would change the outlook significantly for the worse.

“Trade wars never produce winners. Governments must remember that prosperity comes from boosting their trade, not barricading economies,” he added.