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            march 25, 2019

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IATA air freight world air freight volume rises 2pc, but demand weakens


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released data for global air freight markets showing that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs), rose two per cent in September year on year.
This pace of growth was relatively unchanged from the previous month, but was less than half the five-year average growth rate of 5.1 per cent.
Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTKs), grew by 3.2 per cent year on year in September 2018. This was the seventh month in a row that capacity growth outstripped demand. Yields, however, appear to be holding up.
The weak growth is being supported by strong consumer confidence, a robust global investment environment and the expansion of international e-commerce. The air cargo sector is, however, being weighed down by a softening of key demand drivers, said the IATA statement.
There has been a global contraction in manufacturing firms' export order books - the first since June 2017. Specifically, export order books contracted in all the world's major exporting nations in September with the exception of the US.
Longer supplier delivery times are being reported by manufacturers in most of Asia and Europe, the top two global trading areas by volume. This typically means that they have less need for the speed afforded by air freight.
"Demand for air cargo grew two per cent. in September - well below the five year average of 5.1 per cent," said IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac.
"Weakening order books and longer delivery times are undercutting the need for air freight in many traditional markets.
"But there is also some positive news. Strong consumer confidence goes hand-in-hand with expanding international e-commerce trade to give air cargo a boost," said Mr de Juniac.
"The bigger message for the sector is the need to modernise processes. There is some progress with the electronic air waybill becoming the default document on enabled trade lanes from 2019. But there is much more that must be done with governments and the supply chain to bring air cargo processes into the modern era," he said.

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