Home » Aviation, Breaking News » AsPac is one of biggest air cargo losers in May—WorldACD

Air cargo volume continued its negative trend going into May, declining 5% year-on-year in terms of total chargeable weight, with Asia-Pacific registering one of the largest contractions for the month, according to new data from WorldACD.

Volume in direct ton kilometers fell 4.6% against the same month last year. The cargo load factor dropped by 2.1 percentage points year-on-year, but rose by 0.3 month-on-month.

Yields in U.S. dollar fell by 5.6% in May year-on-year, resulting in revenue loss for the airlines of more than 10% year-on-year. Meanwhile, comparing yields month-on-month, they were down 2.0%.

High-tech & other vulnerable goods (the largest category of special cargo) increased by 5.3% compared to last year, while the second largest category (pharma & temperature controlled goods) rose by 9.9%.

All regions went into decline. The origins Asia-Pacific and North America chalked up big year-on-year losses of 7.0% and 7.2 %, respectively, while the origins Africa and Europe suffered least, with year-on-year volume drops of 2.2% and 2.4%, respectively. Latin America and the Middle East & South Asia were also down 4% and 3.4%, respectively, compared to the same period the preceding year.

Although May performed slightly better year-on-year compared to April (up 3.9% month-over-month), the May volume decrease is still larger than the decrease for the first four months taken together, indicating no recovery in sight.

For January-May 2019, only Africa showed positive growth with a very small 0.4% expansion, largely driven by a 2.3% increase in business from East Africa. Among the other sub-regions, Central Asia (+12.6%), Northern Europe (+10.9%), Levant & Caucasus (+3.6%) and Australasia (+2.5%) distinguished themselves.

While air cargo from the U.S. to China fell sharply in April (-14.7% year-on-year, much more than the overall decrease ex-U.S.), in May it fell “only” by 6.2% year-on-year (less than the overall decrease ex-U.S.).

“From China to the USA, the situation was quite different: -/- 3.5% in April and -/- 3% in May, i.e. much smaller percentages than in the other direction, but both being larger than the general decrease in air cargo exports from China,” said WorldACD.

The report also compared January-May 2019 figures against those of January-May 2017, since 2018 was an unusually good year for the industry.

Compared with January-May 2017, the year 2019 so far shows worldwide growth of 1%. Moreover, 22 of the 40 largest air cargo countries in the world show positive growth for the same period.

The growth percentages between 2017 and 2019 range from 32.6% for Chile to 0.1% for India. This group of growth countries consists of four countries from South America (Chile, Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia), nine countries from Asia & Pacific (Vietnam, Pakistan, Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, India), five European countries (Norway, Turkey, UK, Switzerland, Luxembourg), the three North American countries Canada, Mexico, U.S., and one African country (South Africa).

Ten of these countries also had growth from 2018 to 2019, of which three scored double-digit: Norway, Pakistan, and Vietnam.

Photo: © Raimond Spekking

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