Worldwide cargo volumes for October have risen by 4.6 percent, compared to October 2013, according to the latest figures released by Airports Council International (ACI). A significant factor in this surge came from robust growth in airfreight volumes from the United Arab Emirates, particularly from Dubai World Central (DWC, pictured at right).
Overall worldwide international freight volumes for October also increased by 5.6 percent, year-over-year, while domestic volumes rose by 3.4 percent, ACI reported. Global air freight for 2014 is expected to grow by more than 4 percent, compared with 2013 figures.
Air freight volumes at DWC have increased by more than 330 percent in October, year-over-year – a figure that mostly reflects the switch of freighter operations from Dubai International to the newer DWC, which is operational, but still under construction, and is expected to have an annual cargo capacity of 12 million tonnes. DWC is now considered “a major contributor to overall increases in freight volumes” for the entire Middle East region, which enjoyed the largest year-over-year freight volume increase in October, at 13.7 percent.
Another region that posted strong freight volume gains was Africa, which grew 10.7 percent, year-over-year, for the month of October. The continent’s largest cargo hub, OR Tambo International (JNB) in Johannesburg, experienced a 7.6 percent increased in freight volumes, y-o-y, ACI said.
The Asia-Pacific region reported 4.8 percent volume growth in October – a dip below the region’s 12-month growth trend of 5.7 percent. However, ACI said many of Asia’s largest freight hubs continue to report October gains, including Hong Kong (4.3 percent, y-o-y), Shanghai (7.5 percent) and Incheon (1.7 percent).
North American volumes grew 4 percent, y-o-y, while Europe experienced a moderate 3.6 percent rise. With the continuing weakness of the Brazilian and Argentine economies, freight volumes rose only by 1.7 percent in the Latin-America-Caribbean market in October.
“Although there has been improvement in the U.S. economy, coupled with greater momentum in international trade volumes in Asia-Pacific, downside risks continue to persist in other regions, particularly in the Euro area,” said Rafael Echevarne, ACI’s world economics director. “The German economy has experienced weak industrial production and export growth, which may translate into weakness across its economy. Japan, Russia and Brazil are also stagnating. Many of these factors combined may adversely affect air transport demand.”