Global airfreight demand dropped by 2 percent in 2012 year-over-year, with more than half of the leading 30 freight airports showing a decline in traffic, according to a report by the Airports Council International (ACI).
While top airfreight hubs Hong Kong and Memphis saw respective volume growths of 2.2 percent and 2.5 percent last year, 57 percent of the top 30 cargo airports registered traffic contractions.
Total airfreight volume slid 2 percent in 2012 compared to 2011, as the 0.4 percent increase in domestic demand failed to offset the impact of a 0.7 percent fall in international cargo flow.
In December last year, airfreight demand shrank by 1.3 percent from the same month a year ago. Europe and Latin America-Caribbean experienced the steepest drop—2.7 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively. North America posted a 1.5 percent dip, and Asia-Pacific, 1.2 percent.
“Air freight had mixed results throughout 2012 with some months posting modest gains while other months posted declines,” said ACI world’s economics director Rafael Echevarne. “Amid the significant downside risks in the Euro area and the fiscal deadlock in the United States throughout the year, growth in air freight came to an overall halt in 2012.”
But Echevarne said the association is more optimistic about the industry’s prospects in 2013 as the global economy and international trade start to recover.