Global air freight slump shows few signs of easing

Date: Friday, August 2, 2019
Source: Lloyd's List

Airlines suffered year-on-year revenue decrease of almost 15% in June, according to market data specialist WorldACD

The global air freight market’s 2019 slump is showing few signs of easing even though the US-China tariff war is not, so far at least, negatively impacting carriers.

According to market data specialist WorldACD in its lates monthly bulletin, the first half of the year ended with an almost 9% year-on-year decline in flown freight in June.

“Combined with a year-on-year yield decrease of 6.3% in US Dollars, airlines suffered a year-on-year revenue decrease of almost 15% in June,” the analyst said.

While Africa origin volumes in June showed a 1.2% year-on-year increase, Europe was down 12.5% and the Asia Pacific slumped 7.4% for outgoing and 9% for incoming air cargo.

By cargo segment, only High Tech (+3.7%), Pharmaceuticals (+5.3%), Flowers (+4.6%) and Fish/Seafood (+4.5%) saw positive growth in June, although High Tech and Pharmaceuticals “paid a price for their volume growth in the form of yields falling more than volume increased”, said the analyst.

“The further we get into 2019, the poorer the results,“ WorldACD noted.

Comparing the first six months of 2019 to the same period of 2018, the total weight carried globally airlines dropped by 4.8%, with Asia Pacific down 5.6%, North America by 5.5% and Europe by 5.3%.

“The second quarter contributed most to the sharp reversal of air cargo’s fortunes this year compared with 2018,” said the analyst, which also said the ongoing trade war between the US and China which has impacted ocean freight so heavily was not a major factor on Transpacific air lanes.

“Did the trade war between China and the USA have an effect on air cargo between the two countries in H1-2019 compared to H1-2018 ?” the analyst asked. “Our figures would suggest that was not the case.

“Business between the two ‘supermarkets’ is not worse off than the air cargo business elsewhere. Both volume and revenue development from China to the USA were completely in line with the drop in China’s total exports by air.

“From the US to China the picture was the same for overall cargo sales, but with one important difference: the volume drop to China was twice as big as the general volume drop from the USA, but this was totally offset by a strong yield increase.

“In both directions, most carriers based in North America did markedly better than most of their Northeast Asian and Chinese counterparts.”

 

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