Global air cargo markets posted their worst performance in three years in January as demand measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs) decreased year-on-year (YOY) 1.8 per cent, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
IATA also reported freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTKs), rose by four per cent YOY in January 2019. This was the 11th month in a row that capacity growth has outstripped demand growth.
The association said demand for air cargo continues to face significant headwinds. Global economic activity and consumer confidence have weakened. And the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for manufacturing and export orders has indicated falling global export orders since September 2018.
Regionally in January, air cargo’s largest market Asia Pacific saw FTKs fall by 3.6 per cent, while Europe also posted a decline of 3.1 per cent, along with the Middle East which saw a 4.5 FTK drop.
The Latin America region was flat, but on a positive note, North America saw FTKs rise 3.3 per cent and Africa posted an increase of one per cent.
IATA’s director general and chief executive officer, Alexandre de Juniac said: “Air cargo markets contracted in January. This is a worsening of a weakening trend that started in mid-2018. Unless protectionist measures and trade tensions diminish there is little prospect of a quick re-bound.”