IATA: Trade war impacting air freight demand

posted on 6th September 2019 by Justin Burns
IATA: Trade war impacting air freight demand

Global air freight markets showed that demand measure in freight tonne kilometres fell year-on-year (YOY) by 3.2 per cent in July, according to figures released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

This marks the ninth consecutive month of YOY decline in freight volumes, as air cargo continues to suffer from weak global trade and the intensifying trade dispute between the US and China.

Global trade volumes are 1.4 per cent lower than a year ago and trade volumes between the US and China have fallen by 14 per cent year-to-date compared to the same period in 2018. 

The global Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) does not indicate an uptick. Its tracking of new manufacturing export orders has pointed to falling orders since September 2018. And for the first time since February 2009 all major trading nations reported falling orders.

Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs), rose by 2.6 per cent YOY in July 2019. Capacity growth has now outstripped demand growth for the 9th consecutive month.

“Trade tensions are weighing heavily on the entire air cargo industry. Higher tariffs are disrupting not only transpacific supply chains but also worldwide trade lanes. While current tensions might yield short-term political gains, they could lead to long-term negative changes for consumers and the global economy.

“Trade generates prosperity. It is critical that the US and China work quickly to resolve their differences,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.