Air cargo sector challenged by nature and energy

Despite the encouraging news from The International Air Transport Association on improving freight volumes, there are still two key issues that may have a negative impact on a full recovery: the weather and fuel prices.

By ·

Despite the encouraging news from The International Air Transport Association (IATA) on improving freight volumes, there are still two key issues that may have a negative impact on a full recovery: the weather and fuel prices.

Severe weather in Europe and North America in December was a major problem, and the season so far does not appear to be improving. It is estimated that this shaved 1 percent off of total traffic demand for the month.

As a result demand dipped to 4.9 percent growth on December 2009 levels, significantly lower than the 8.2 percent growth recorded in November. Hardest hit was Europe which saw December growth slow to 3.3 percent.

But IATA says this is only half the story.

A sharp rise in oil prices, as they predicted, may mean a consecutive second year of profitability – but with industry profits falling by 40 percent to $9.1 billion.

This was based on an oil price of $84 per barrel (Brent). Fuel accounts for 27 percent of operating costs and a sustained rise in the oil price could spoil the party. With uncertainties in the Middle East, oil prices are now hovering near the $100 per barrel mark.

For every dollar increase in the average price of a barrel of oil over the year, airlines face the difficult task of recovering an additional $1.6 billion in costs.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

Air Cargo · Transportation · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Supplier Relationship Micro Management
Optimizing Across Six Guiding Principles
Download Today!
From the July 2017 Logistics Management Issue
E-commerce continues to fuel a boom that’s tempered by overcapacity, rate pressures, sluggish demand and political doubt. The result: “cognitive dissonance” that finds a $1.4 trillion market scratching its head.
2017 Truckload Brokerage Roundtable: Technology continues to connect the dots
Cloud Transportation Management Systems (TMS): Weis Markets streamlines “both sides” of the DC door
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Women in Logistics: Breaking Gender Roles to Win the War for Talent
In this session you'll hear from a panel of women who are now leading top-level logistics and supply chain operations. The panel will share their success stories as well as advice for women who are now making their way up the ladder.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
28th Annual State of Logistics: Into the great unknown
E-commerce continues to fuel a boom that’s tempered by overcapacity, rate pressures, sluggish...
2017 Top 50 3PLs: Investment and Consolidation Maintain Traction
The trend set over the past few years for mergers and acquisitions has hardly subsided, and a fresh...

The Evolution of the Digital Supply Chain
Everyone is talking about terms like digitization, Industry 4.0 and digital supply chain management,...
2017 Salary Survey: Fresh Voices Express Optimism
Our “33rd Annual Salary Survey” reflects more diversity entering the logistics management...