November was “plainly an old-fashioned good air cargo month,” it added. Volumes increased by almost 8 percent in November year-over-year, while the yield drop compared to November last year was limited to 2.5 percent.
Revenue in November was 5.2 percent better than last year, one of the best results of 2013. Worldwide yield increased considerably—by 3 percent—compared to October 2013.
The bellwether cities of Shanghai and Hong Kong peaked in October 2013, and did even better in November, WorldACD continued. Together the two cities showed a 9 percent revenue increase over November 2012 with stable year-over-year yields. And the increase over October 2013 was a huge 23 percent.
Looking at the nearly complete 2013 results, however, the research group said the year as a whole was “too weak to be of much comfort to the industry.” Air cargo hardly grew in volume (rising 1.6 percent through November), while year-over-year yields dropped by 3.7 percent.
But a good development for the year was seen in specialist air cargo, where a growth of 7 percent was posted through November over 2012. Half of it came from the increased transport of perishables by air.
Valuables (14 percent growth) and pharmaceuticals (9 percent growth) achieved the highest percentage growth. Pharmaceuticals now generate five times more volume than valuables, while they also lost less in yield than any other air cargo category, said WorldACD.
“Pharma was air cargo’s undisputed favorite in 2013,” it continued
Europe is still the most important pharmaceuticals outbound market, generating 60 percent of the worldwide totals and registering a 9 percent growth over 2012.
The second biggest region in this segment is now South Asia. However, while that area’s volume increased with a healthy 12 percent, its yield (-5.5 percent) trailed the worldwide trend.
Asia-Pacific as an origin showed most growth, although still from a very small basis.
Consumers in the Asia-Pacific region absorbed 22 percent of all pharmaceuticals shipped by air worldwide, followed by North America.