Worldwide airfreight demand is off to a slow start, at least for the first two months of 2016, according to Holland-based consultancy, WorldACD. The market analysis firm published its February statistics, reporting a 3.8 percent drop in airfreight demand, based on chargeable weight, with the most significant drops in volumes originating from Asia and North America.
Combined January and February volumes for cargo shipped from Asia and North America contracted by 7 percent, year-over-year, which WorldACD blames partially on the irregularities resulting from the 2015 U.S. West Coast port slowdown and the Lunar New Year. WorldACD asserted that “the weak y-o-y figures for Asia-Pacific and North America ought to be viewed against the backdrop of last year’s windfall due to the port strike in the United States,” which led to a surge in air cargo volumes moving across the Pacific from Asia.
Moreover, the Chinese New Year (CNY) fell earlier in February this year, leading to comparatively weaker February 2016 figures. Still WorldACD noted that the normal interruption from the New Year was more pronounced than normal in terms of “low business days.” In 2015, the firm recorded only one day “with less than 10 percent of the pre-CNY volumes; this year there were four such days.”
Despite the drop in traffic originating in Asia, other markets did show positive y-o-y growth for the combined period of January/February 2016. Shipments originating in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia all showed volume increases of about 5 percent.