The WorldACD reported that growth in international air cargo volume has finally come to a plateau – its data for the month of June showing a growth rate of just 0.4 percent year-over-year.
Expanding the comparison to include the entire first half of the year (versus the same period in 2017), volume has increased by 3.7 percent, but the current trend does not suggest that growth level will sustain in coming months.
Asia-Pacific-region cargo deflated slightly by 0.1 percent year-over-year. African, European and the Middle Eastern cargo regions contracted, as well – the Middle East, South Asia region (MESA) by almost 4 percent.
Volume from the Americas is doing marginally better than other regions, “albeit much lower than in the earlier months of 2018 when it topped 8 percent,” the World ACD said.
Volume from the U.S. to Europe volume increased by 3.7 percent, while China-bound U.S. exports grew by 3 percent.
Exports by air from China to the U.S., however, dipped considerably in June – by -5.9 percent – supporting industry leaders’ speculation that protectionist policies would suffocate trade between regions.
The WorldACD said that the outcome of the second half of 2018 is anyone’s guess; we may see volumes continue to decline, or, come Q4, we may see June as a bump in the road. “To us, the world of air cargo looks fairly uncertain at the moment,” WorldACD said. “For once, to predict the future it may be just as helpful to read the tea leaves (as well as tweets?) or to gaze into a crystal ball.”