Two of the world's leading air cargo terminals have said that they detect signs of stabilisation in the market over the past month, Ti reported. 'Fraport' in Frankfurt, Germany and Hong Kong's 'HACTL' (Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminal Ltd) released figures at the end of last week which suggested that the fall in volumes is not only decelerating but may be coming to a halt.
Fraport AG reported on Friday that its handling of cargo was down on a year-on-year basis by 16.5%, to 148,211 tonnes in June. This compared with a year-on-year fall for the first half of the year of 21%. This was paralleled by what the airport called "a slight recovery" in passenger volume, in part affected by seasonal factors.
HACTL in Hong Kong saw a similar picture, with June's volume decreases markedly less than for the first half of the year. June saw a fall of 14.4% on a year-on-year basis at 187,000 tonnes compared to 21.5% fall for the first half of the year. The second quarter saw a year-on-year decrease of 18.5%, which would suggest a steady improvement through the year. Whilst import and transhipment volumes are down through the second quarter by 15% and 8% respectively it is export volumes that have fallen hardest with falls of 23.7% year-on-year fall for the second quarter. Exports to Western Europe and North America have been particularly badly affected.
Other airports around the world are also reporting a stabilising of demand, with UK-based BAA reporting better levels of demand in June than in May across its airports which include London Heathrow.
Other indicators on the state of the air cargo market include rises in the fuel surcharges by a number of airlines, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. However with Nippon Cargo Airlines recently suggesting that the market could take five years to recover to previous levels of demand, few appear to anticipate rapid increases in volumes in the short-term.