WorldACD Market Data has reported that in March “even a large increase” of 25 per cent in air freight volumes was not enough to save the first quarter (Q1) of the year.
The analyst said that Q1 2019 ended with a year-over-year (YOY) decrease in chargeable weight of 3.1 per cent.
This worldwide average of -3.1 per cent YOY hides considerable differences between the various regions of the world, WorldACD said. It distinguishes between six different regions, which together make for 36 different geographical markets: six intra-regional and 30 inter-regional markets. 23 of these 36 markets decreased YOY.
The analyst continued: “Whilst Asia Pacific continues to be the world’s air cargo engine, it has become clear over the past half year that the engine runs much less smoothly than before.
“Markets within Asia Pacific lost 7.6% YoY in Q1. In the same period, 5 of the 10 markets to/from Asia Pacific also performed below the world average, notably the larger ones Asia Pacific to Europe (-4.9%), Europe to Asia Pacific (-4.3%) and North America to Asia Pacific (-4.7%).”
On the positive side in Q1 (YOY), WorldACD were the markets – Europe to North America (+0.6 per cent), Asia Pacific to Middle East & South Asia (MESA) (+2.9 per cent), Africa to Europe (+2.1 per cent) and intra-MESA (+2.6 per cent), as well as a number of smaller markets. Among the latter, Latin America to Asia Pacific and Africa to North America stood out (both +18 per cent).
WorldACD added: “The largest exporting countries with YoY growth in Q1 were India, UK, Australia, Vietnam, Kenya Ecuador, Turkey and Chile, with YoY growth ranging from 0.1% to 6.7%. With the exception of Vietnam and Kenya, growth in these origins was entirely thanks to growth in special cargo, most notably Fish & Seafood.”
Among the world’s top 20 air cargo forwarders, only four managed to realize YOY growth in Q1: Expeditors, DSV, Agility and Expolanka. Among the other 16, decreases ranged from 0.2 per cent to 16.4 per cent.
Between Q4 2018 and Q1 2019, WorldACD said it saw a worldwide drop in kilograms of 10.3 per cent. The origins North America and MESA suffered least (-3.7 per cent), but Asia Pacific most (-16.8 per cent): China and Hong Kong taken together decreased by more than 20 per cent, double the worldwide drop.
The analyst also “zoomed in on Trump’s Trade War” and said volumes from China to USA fell by 21 per cent between Q4 and Q1, whilst USA to China fell by 12.5 per cent.