IATA’s latest numbers raise concern

IATAThe June numbers are in from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for global airfreight, and, like the WorldACD report from earlier this week, it’s a bit disconcerting. Measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTK), airfreight volumes worldwide only rose 1.2 percent compared to 5.3 percent at the same time last year. IATA reported that the stagnation is consistent with falling trade activity and weaker-than-expected global growth.

Strong June performances from carriers in the Middle East, which were up 15.3 percent, year-over-year, and Africa, up 6.7 percent, y-o-y, pushed the overall volume numbers into positive territory. Asia-Pacific, North American and Latin American carriers bombed with y-o-y declines at -0.3 percent, -3.3 percent and -1.6 percent, respectively.

Comparing the first half of 2015 to that of 2014, airfreight markets grew by just 3.5 percent, compared to 5.8 percent last year.

Regionally, Asia-Pacific capacity expanded by 4 percent in the first half of 2015, y-o-y. The region’s trade activity was down 8 percent, and year-to-date growth was at 5.4 percent. European carriers were flat – showing no change from the first half of 2014, but capacity rose 2.2 percent. The Greek situation hasn’t helped consumer confidence, even with improvements in the Eurozone business confidence. As a result, growth in Europe fell by -0.6 percent, y-o-y.

Middle Eastern carriers saw the strongest first-half growth, with demand expanding by 15.3 percent and capacity rising 19.2 percent, y-o-y. Even with slowdowns in non-oil-related sectors, growth for the year-to-date was robust at 14 percent.

Even though Latin America has seen expanded regional trade, carriers reported a 1.6 percent fall in first-half demand, a 3.7 percent rise in capacity, and a drop in airfreight volume at -6.9 percent.

Lastly, Africa has seen a 6.7 percent rise in demand for the first half of the year, even though the Nigerian and South African economies have underperformed for most of 2015. Overall growth was 6.7 percent, y-o-y, and demand growth year-to-date was 4.8 percent.

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