Air freight volumes expand more slowly

Strong mid-year results disguise patchy regional performance

By ·

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight markets showing 2.3% growth in demand over June 2013. That is slower than the 4.9% growth reported for May.

Nevertheless, overall growth for the first six months of 2014 stands at 4.1% compared to the same period in 2013. That is much stronger than the weak 1.4% increase reported for the full-year 2013 over 2012 levels. The strengthened growth has been underpinned by improving global trade and stronger business activity over the past year.

“At the half-way point of the year, it is clear that overall cargo demand is much stronger than in 2013. Carriers in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East have been the biggest beneficiaries of the improved market conditions. Europe is doing reasonably well, albeit still in recovery mode. The weak spot is the Americas,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

The Middle East offers “extremely lucrative” opportunities for companies able to take advantage of the region’s emergence as a global logistics hub, Essa Al-Saleh, president & CEO of Agility Global Integrated Logistics, said last month.

In a keynote speech to the Emerging Markets Logistics Conference in Dubai, Al-Saleh highlighted the outstanding performance of the Middle East in the 2014 Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index.

“The general improvement in the economic environment is always good news for air cargo. This may not however, be a recovery as usual. First there are a lot of risks out there—from conflicts and sanctions to potential national defaults and fear of the Ebola outbreak. Second, while air cargo is slowly emerging from two years in the doldrums time has not stood still. Logistics has become an even more intensely competitive sector,” said Tyler.

He added that shippers value faster end-to-end transit times, greater reliability and improved efficiency.

“More clearly than ever, the building blocks for the future of air cargo are found in global programs such as e-Freight and Cargo 2000. These are helping the entire value chain to deliver on the expectations of their customers,” said Tyler.

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]

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