Growth might be tapering off, but airfreight is experiencing such high demand that, unless customers have blocked space agreements (BSAs), their freight might not fly. According to WorldACD’s April numbers, air cargo posted a “respectable” 7.7 percent volume increase, year-over-year, however, performance varied across the industry.
In direct tonne kilometers, growth was 8.5 percent, indicating an “upward trend in the average distance between origins and final destinations of shipments,” the research firm said. Revenues also rose, as worldwide yield grew by US$0.02 over March, and by US$0.05, y-o-y.
Due to calendar effects, such as the Easter holiday, which inflated March numbers, Europe’s y-o-y outbound volume growth was only 5 percent in April, but WorldACD noted that the two months including March still averaged 12.1 percent, y-o-y, growth outbound, and 9.3 percent inbound.
In line with Airport Council International and IATA numbers, the Asia-Pacific region continued to register the strongest numbers, up 14 percent, with Japan being the surprise success story, and “well on its way to shed the lackluster air cargo performance of last year.”
WorldACD numbers saw Africa freight falling 3 percent in April – which was a far cry from ACI’s Africa numbers, which registered a 12.4 percent quarterly increase in demand.
Overall, WorldACD found March and April putting up much stronger numbers than January/February, excluding Africa.
WorldACD noted that parsing these results was a complicated undertaking, noting the Lunar New Year and Easter effects. However, the research firm concluded that, “for the first four months of the year: volume was up a solid 9 percent compared with 2016.” As a word of caution, World ACD noted that the usual worldwide drop in air cargo from March to April was twice as extreme as the previous three years, 8 percent compared to an average fall of 4 percent.