Air cargo volumes show some improvement
January 22, 2013
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released traffic results for November 2012 which showed an improvement in air freight demand, with volumes edging up 1.6% after declining 2.6% in October, year to year.
“November brought some positive signs for air transport demand—particularly for air cargo,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO. “It is premature to consider this a turning point for air cargo markets in terms of bouncing back and regaining lost ground. But, when coupled with positive economic developments in the U.S. and an improvement in business confidence in recent months, the conditions are aligning to see a return to growth in 2013.”
Tyler added that in 2013 IATA expects that cargo volumes will grow 1.4% worldwide. This reflects a shift in seasonal shopping to online retailers, he said, which depend heavily on air cargo.
“It also shows improved consumer confidence in the US. Seasonally-adjusted air freight volumes have now risen back to the levels of mid-2012, after declines in the third quarter,” said Tyler.
Although some of this increase reflects the impact of the Thai floods in the year-ago period, the month-on-month increase of 2.4% is a positive sign, but industry analysts said this may not be reflected in rates.
“It’s our feeling that rates will continue to remain at present levels during the first quarter of 2013 and likely remain so unless there is a discernible economic recovery that will include robust consumer spending,” said Charles “Chuck” Clowdis, managing director of transportation advisory services for IHS Global Insight.
Clowdis is among the panel of industry experts scheduled to speak at LM’s upcoming “Rate Forecast” webinar on January 31.
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