IATA notes modest air cargo rebound
February 06, 2014 - LM Editorial
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released figures showing a 1.4% expansion of global freight ton kilometers (FTKs) in 2013 when compared to 2012.
Cargo markets made very slow progress during the first half of the year. Acceleration in the trend took root in the latter half of 2013, placing air freight volumes on a steadily increasing trajectory. Capacity grew faster than demand at 2.6% and load factors were weak at 45.3%.
Regional performance varied. Middle Eastern and Latin American carriers reported the strongest growth in demand (12.8% and 2.4% respectively). Asia-Pacific carriers, which have nearly 40% of the global air freight market, saw cargo activities shrink by 1.0% over the year.
“2013 was a tough year for cargo. While we saw some improvement in demand from the second half of the year, we can still expect that 2014 will be a challenging year. World trade continues to expand more rapidly than demand for air cargo. Trade itself is suffering from increasing protectionist measures by governments. And the relative good fortunes of passenger markets compared to cargo make it difficult for airlines to match capacity to demand,” says Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director
“As world trade accelerated in the past, air cargo has always followed closely,” says Charles “Chuck” Clowdis, managing director of transportation advisory services for IHS Global Insight. “However, this time the growth will not likely be at the 2X level as in the past.”
In an interview with LM, Clowdis notes that while air cargo volumes will rise, shippers should not expect to see the same pace or to reach the same levels as in the past.
“This will be true at least until the overall economy returns to 2005-2006, pre-recession levels,” he adds.
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