IATA reports flattening global demand for airfreight

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported a global growth in demand for airfreight measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs) of 2.7 percent during June – less than half the rate experienced during the same period last year.

Capacity was reported to have grown by 4.1 percent, marking the fourth consecutive month that growth in capacity has eclipsed growth in demand. The organization said that the industry can still expect to see about 4 percent growth for 2018.

Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO, said that air cargo is still “somewhat insulated from the current round of rising tariff barriers,” but that “deterioration in world trade is a real concern.”

Still, the report said that all regions except for Africa – which saw an 8.5 percent contraction – reported a year-on-year increase in volume. Latin America saw the largest growth rate, at 5.9 percent. Europe, North America and the Middle East each saw marginal traffic growth in the 3-4 percent range. The Asia-Pacific region kept its head above water with a 1.5 percent growth in traffic, which IATA said “dragged the global growth rate down,” due to the fact that the region accounts for almost 37 percent of the global air cargo market.

These results are somewhat different than that of the WorldACD, which released its June analysis last week reporting traffic for the Asia-Pacific region declined by 0.1 percent. The organization measures the Middle East and South Asia region together, reporting it contracted by almost 4 percent, which is contradictory to the growth IATA reported in both regions.

Speaking more to the protectionist climate emerging this year, de Juniac said, “While air cargo is somewhat insulated from the current round of rising tariff barriers, an escalation of trade tension resulting in a ‘reshoring’ of production and consolidation of global supply chains would change the outlook significantly for the worse. Governments must remember that prosperity comes from boosting their trade, not barricading economies.”

To read more details by region, read IATA’s full report here.

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