Home » Aviation, Breaking News » Asia leads air freight traffic decline in March and Q1

Air cargo volumes in March 2019 were up a large 25% over a dismal February 2019 but down 2.4% year-over-year in terms of chargeable weight and 1.8% in direct ton kilometers, with the Asian market performing poorly, according to WorldACD.

In the month, general cargo contracted 4.8% year-on-year, while special cargo rose 3.5% compared to March last year.

In the first quarter of this year, cargo traffic fell 3.1% year-on-year in chargeable weight, with considerable differences between the various regions of the world.

“WorldACD distinguishes between 6 different regions, which together make for 36 different geographical markets: 6 intra-regional and 30 inter-regional markets. 23 of these 36 markets decreased YoY,” the air cargo data service provider said.

Asia was among the biggest losers in the period January-March 2019. “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,” said the report.

Markets within Asia-Pacific lost 7.6% year-on-year in Q1. In the same period, five of the 10 markets to and from Asia-Pacific also performed below the world average. Notable are 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 the first quarter were the markets Europe to North America (+0.6% year-over-year), Asia-Pacific to Middle East & South Asia or MESA (+2.9%), Africa to Europe (+2.1%) and intra-MESA (+2.6%), 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%).

The largest exporting countries with year-on-year growth in the first quarter were India, UK, Australia, Vietnam, Kenya, Ecuador, Turkey, and Chile, with year-on-year growth ranging from 0.1% to 6.7%. Except for 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 agents, only four managed to realize year-over-year growth in the first quarter: Expeditors, DSV, Agility and Expolanka. Among the other 16, decreases ranged from 0.2% to 16.4%.

Between the fourth quarter of 2018 and first quarter of the 2019, worldwide volume drop in kilograms was at 10.3%. The origins North America and MESA suffered least (-3.7%), but Asia-Pacific most (-16.8%): China and Hong Kong taken together decreased by more than 20%, double the worldwide drop. In relation to the trade war, volumes from China to the U.S. fell by 21% between Q4 and Q1, while U.S. to China fell by 12.5%.

“All in all, we do not expect the April figures to cause a change in the trend seen so far this year,” concluded WorldACD.

Photo: Larsz


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