Home » 3PL/4PL, Aviation, Breaking News » Asia’s air cargo volume falls as January continues slowdown

January reflects the trend seen for a number of months now: another global air cargo volume drop, with Asia-Pacific notable for posting a significant decline in incoming business, according to WorldACD.

The air cargo market data provider said total world cargo volume fell 2% year-on-year and 6.2% month-on-month in January, with general cargo declining 5% and special cargo expanding 4.6% year-on-year.

Except for Africa and Central & South America (C&S Am) which increased their outgoing volume year-on-year, all other origin regions were down.

The origins Europe and North America had a drop that hovered around 4%. More tellingly, incoming business in Asia-Pacific shrank by 6% in total, with volume falling 8% from the origin North America, and contracting by 9.5% from the origin Europe. Origin China grew by 5% year-on-year, but the destination China fell by more than 10%.

On the product front, January 2019 was a good month for certain specific cargo categories. Apart from general cargo, valuables and dangerous goods, all categories improved year-on-year. The big categories of perishables and high tech grew by 6% and 4%, respectively; and pharmaceuticals improved by 5% and the much smaller group of live animals by 9%.

As for which companies did relatively well in the “downturn” of 2018 compared with the bumper year of 2017 and are best positioned to do well in 2019, WorldACD said most airline groups actually hardly grew between the two years.

Airlines from Asia-Pacific reported 0.7% growth, while those from Africa, Middle East/South Asia (MESA), and C&S Am had no growth. Only the airlines from North America (+6.3%) and Europe (+3.8%) beat the worldwide average growth. “The Europeans improved their share everywhere, except in Europe itself,” said WorldACD.

On the world’s top 20 forwarders, they went from a 43.2% to a 43% market share, but with notable differences. The 13 forwarders with a European origin grew by 0.5% only, while the four MESA and North American forwarders did just a bit better (+1.5%).

The real winners of 2018 were the Japanese forwarders, growing their business by 7.2%, mainly driven by growth in Asia-Pacific and North America. Leading forwarders in perishables, such as Kuehne + Nagel, Panalpina, DB Schenker and Newport, recorded double-digit growth (between 13% and 16%) in this category.

Meanwhile, yield in January 2019 saw a drop of 2.5% in dollar terms year-on-year. Revenues from the smallest shipments (0 to 50 kg) suffered least (-2.1% year-on-year), while those from the largest shipments (over 5,000 kg) suffered the most (-6.4% year-on-year).

Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl

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