Home » Aviation, Breaking News » Global air cargo grows 4% in April

Worldwide air cargo continued its momentum into April, growing 4% year-on-year.

The increase in April, though lower than the 4.8% in the first quarter, “still points to serious business growth in air cargo,” said WorldACD in its latest traffic report.

Worldwide air cargo yield went up to US$1.93 in April 2018, or 2% above March 2018, and 16% higher than in April 2017. Measured in euros, the month-over-month yield increased by 2% as well, but year-over-year increase was 1.5% only.

Of the top 20 markets in the world, eight performed better than the worldwide average of 4% in April year-over-year, while 12 remained below the 4% growth mark.

The origins North America, which grew 8.6% in April year-on-year, and Central & South America, with 10.5% growth, continued to dominate the growth tables. Argentina in particular saw outgoing business grow 26.5%, largely thanks to more than doubling its business to Europe. In incoming business it registered 30.9% growth, largely because of a large increase in volumes from North America.

The origin Africa contracted again, down 2.1% year-over-year in April, although less than in Q1.

Different regions showed very different growth patterns. Asia-Pacific, the largest origin area, grew 3.7% in April 2018, less than the year-on-year average of 4.6% worldwide, with larger business growth to Europe (+4.8%) and much less growth to North America (+2.1%).

Europe, the second largest origin area, grew 3.5% year-over-year in April, but growth is mainly to North America (4.6%), and much less to Asia-Pacific (+1.4%).

North America, the third largest origin area, showed a large year-on-year growth of 8%, mainly thanks to similar percentage growth to both Asia-Pacific and Europe.

Among these areas, Europe showed the largest growth in incoming business (rising 6.8%), while imports into Asia-Pacific and North America remained below the worldwide 4.6%.

WorldACD also found that so far, airlines’ average distance flown is still growing in 2018 at 5.6% in terms of direct ton kilometers as against an increase of 4.6% in kilograms, showing that the average distance per shipment flown continues to grow, but by a smaller percentage than a year ago.

Pharmaceutical products and high-tech goods remain growth engines in specialized cargo, it added. Pharmaceuticals transport increased with 17% year-on-year and high-tech with 11%. Perishables, the largest category of specialized cargo, is growing less than average at 4%.

Except for the growing trans-Atlantic business from Europe, the report said these trends appear to be aligned with global economic directions. Since the U.S. dollar has been relatively cheap in this period and the euro relatively expensive, “one would thus expect North America to export more, and Europe to import more,” said the air cargo market analyst.

Photo: Ercan Karakas

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