Home » Aviation, Breaking News » Air cargo posts negative volume, yield growth in Dec

Air freight volume recorded negative year-on-year expansion in December as the last four months of 2018 experienced steadily declining growth, according to WorldACD figures.

In its latest analysis, the air cargo data aggregator said December closed the year with a “double whammy” of negative volume growth with negative yield growth, causing year-on-year airline revenue to drop 5.6% in U.S. dollar terms (1.9% in euro).

The report said the last week of 2018 was “particularly worrisome with volume a serious 10% below the same week in 2017.”  December volumes from the larger regions (Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America) dropped by larger percentages than those from the smaller areas.

For the key market China and Hong Kong-United States, China/Hong Kong did better in year-on-year volumes in December to the U.S. (-3.6% year-on-year) than to the world as a whole (-4.8% year-on-year). In the opposite direction, U.S. to world (-3.4% year-on-year) did significantly better than U.S. to China/Hong Kong (-8% year-on-year).

“Air cargo showed two distinct faces in the year 2018 as a whole,” said WorldACD. Each month from January to August showed year-on-year volume growth, but in ever smaller percentages as the year progressed. Still, the 3.7% year-on-year overall growth in that period looked good, given the fact that 2017 had been a bumper year.

In the period September-December, however, three out of the four months showed a year-on-year volume decrease, resulting in an overall decrease for this period of 0.6%. Volume for the whole year was 2.2% up on 2017.

The year-on-year yield rise in U.S. dollar terms was 15% in the period January-August against 4.2% for September-December, a development that seemed to be in line with fluctuations in the oil markets.

Worldwide air cargo yield moved downwards to US$2.00 in December 2018, which is 2.2% lower than in December 2017, and 3.7% lower than in November 2018. Worldwide yield in euro increased by 1.7% year-over-year.

Worldwide, airlines added 13.2% to their revenues in terms of U.S. dollar (8.7% when measured in euro). Five smaller origin countries managed to record a year-on-year volume growth 12 months in a row: Chile, Costa Rica, Cambodia, Uganda, and Mozambique.

Among the various air cargo categories, pharmaceuticals kept its leading position in year-on-year volume growth (+14.8%), followed by dangerous goods and vulnerables/high tech (+7.7% each). Fruits & vegetables were the only category with negative year-on-year growth (-0.2%). All in all, specials increased by 5.4%, as general cargo increased by 0.9% only.

Photo Ahmed Muntasir

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