Global air cargo markets see uptick in demand

February’s air cargo performance has sustained the weak recovery that began in the fourth quarter of 2012

By ·

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released February data showing that air cargo maintained the modest improvement in demand that began in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Seasonally adjusted cargo volumes are 2.5% above the October 2012 low point. Comparisons with February 2012 performance however show a 6.2% decline. This is severely skewed as a result of two factors (1) February 2012 has an extra day owing to the Leap Year and (2) Chinese New Year (which is accompanied by many factory closings in Asia) occurred in January 2012 and in February 2013. After adjusting for these abnormalities, however, air cargo was actually up 2% in February compared to the previous year.

“February’s air cargo performance has sustained the weak recovery that began in the fourth quarter of 2012. This is welcome news after two consecutive years of contraction, said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO. “It is even better news that this growth is expected to pick up moderately as the year progresses. But improvements cannot be taken for granted.”

Tyler also noted that events in Cyprus have shippers that the Eurozone crisis is far from over.

“Any resulting loss of business confidence could shift the outlook for the worse,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Air cargo volumes declined by 0.6% in 2011 and a further 1.5% in 2012. Markets stabilized and began a weak recovery trend in the last quarter of 2012,” he said.

Charles “Chuck” Clowdis, managing director of transportation advisory services for IHS Global Insight, told LM earlier this year that “unless there is a discernible economic recovery,” air cargo rates would remain flat. “Robust consumer spending would change that,” he added.

IATA data suggests that might just be the case, with the word “robust” again invoked.

North American freight demand declined 3.1% and capacity was down 4.2%. There was a strong month-on-month increase of 1.6%, “which particularly reflects robust domestic demand.”


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

All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
SaaS Supply Chain Management Systems
A guide to better understanding the market, the software and the benefits
Download Today!
From the November 2016 Issue
The third time is the charm for this U.S. manufacturer on the hunt for a third-party logistics (3PL) provider that could successfully combine transportation services and technology capabilities under one roof.
Warehouse & DC Operations Survey: Ready to confront complexity
2016 Quest for Quality Awards Dinner
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Digital Evolution: Streamlining Logistics and Supply Chain Operations
In this FREE virtual conference we'll define the challenges facing operations and offer solutions designed to create dynamic, automated networks that offer seamless communication, improved collaborative third-party relationships, and the ability to respond to changes at a moment's notice.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Logistics Management’s Top Logistics News Stories 2016
From mergers and acquisitions to regulation changes, Logistics Management has compiled the most...
Making the TMS Decision: Ariens Finds Just the Right Fit
The third time is the charm for this U.S. manufacturer on the hunt for a third-party logistics (3PL)...

Motor Carrier Regulations Update: Caught in a Trap
The fed is hitting truckers with a barrage of costly regulations in an era of scant profits....
25th Annual Masters of Logistics
Indecision revolving around three complex supply chain elements—transportation, technology and...