Mubasher: Global air freight demand was flat in November 2018, compared with the same month in the previous year, according to data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
This marked the slowest growth rate seen since March 2016, after 31 months of annual growth, the IATA said.
While “normally the fourth quarter is a peak season for air cargo,” a “flat growth in November is a big disappointment,” IATA’s director general Alexandre de Juniac said.
International e-commerce continues to grow, while total freight demand faces major headwinds.
As global economic growth weakened, all major exporting countries, except for the US, saw their export order books declining.
“We need governments to focus on enabling growth through trade, not barricading their borders through punitive tariffs,”de Juniac said.
In addition, consumer sentiment deteriorated compared with the high levels at the start of last year.
Only three of the six regions saw a year-on-year growth in cargo demand in November 2018, namely North America, the Middle East and Latin America, the IATA said.
Asia-Pacific airlines posted a year-on-year decline of 2.3% in demand for air freight during the month, on weaker manufacturing conditions for exporters and shorter delivery times particularly in China dented demand.
European airlines endured a contraction in freight demand of 0.2% in last November, compared with the same month in the previous year.
Freight demand fell 7.8% for African carriers in November, compared with the same month in 2017, as demand conditions on all major markets to and from Africa remained weak.
On the other hand, freight capacity, which is measured in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTKs), climbed 4.3% year-on-year during the month,
This is the ninth month in a row that capacity outweighed freight demand.
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