Global airfreight traffic continued to exhibit signs of weakness, posting cargo volume of 4,202 metric tonnes in March for a year-over-year decline of 1 percent, according to the Airports Council International (ACI).
Except for the Middle East, which posted gains of 8.7 percent in March 2013 from the same month a year ago, every region saw decreases in volume amidst the global slowdown.
The top three freight hubs in the world all reported declines: Hong Kong traffic slid 2.2 percent, Memphis 1.4 percent, and Shanghai 3 percent.
On both year-to-date and rolling 12-month basis, global traffic likewise dipped. Year-to-date throughput was 11,175 metric tonnes, down 1.1 percent from the same period a year ago, while on a rolling basis, 46,568 metric tonnes have been logged for a 0.9 percent drop.
“With the general downturn in business activity across major economies, the result is a systemic slowdown in the volume of goods shipped by air,” said ACI World’s economics director Rafael Echevarne.
He noted that their analysis was reinforced by other indicators, such as Markit’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), which indicated that, for the first quarter of the year, traffic volume declined in the euro zone.