Home » Aviation, Breaking News » AsPac air freight volumes continue to fall despite e-commerce surge

The global air freight market registered its 13th consecutive month of year-on-year decline in volume in November, with Asia-Pacific airlines sustaining the biggest contraction among regional carriers, according to data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Global air freight demand decreased by 1.1% in November 2019 compared to the same period in 2018. Despite the decline, November’s performance was the best in eight months, with the slowest year-on-year rate of contraction recorded since March 2019.

“In part, November’s outcome reflects the growing importance of large e-commerce events such as Singles Day in Asia and Black Friday,” noted IATA.

While international e-commerce continues to grow, overall air cargo demand continues to face headwinds from the effects of the trade war between the US and China, the deterioration in world trade, and a broad-based slowing in global economic growth, it added.

“Demand for air cargo in November was down 1.1% compared to the previous year. That’s better than the 3.5% decline posted in October. But it is a big disappointment considering that the fourth quarter is usually air cargo’s peak season,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.

“Looking forward, signs of a thawing in US-China trade tensions are good news. But trading conditions at present remain very challenging,” he said.

Freight capacity rose by 2.9% year-on-year in November 2019. Capacity growth has now outstripped demand growth for 19 consecutive months.

Airlines in Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East suffered sharp declines in year-on-year growth in total air freight volumes in November 2019, while North American carriers experienced a more moderate decline. Europe and Africa were the only regions to record growth compared to November 2018.

In Asia-Pacific, the region’s airlines saw demand for air freight contract by 3.7% in November 2019 compared to the year-earlier period. This was the sharpest drop in freight demand of any region for the month. Capacity increased by 1.8%.

“The US-China trade war has significantly affected the region, with demand on the large Asia-North America market down 6.5% year-on-year in October (latest available data). However, the thawing of US-China trade relations and robust economic growth in key regional economies are positive developments,” the report said.

Photo by Iwan Shimko on Unsplash

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