Recent global trends of the fastest freight transport
As reported by the study of the Osservatorio Cargo Aereo (the Italian organization created by Cluster Cargo Aereo as a “Statistics center) the air freight transportation is estimated at 6.2 trillion dollars in 2018 (7.4% of world GDP).
Speed is the number one reason why shippers choose air freight transportation. While land and ship cargo transportation remain as favorable options, goods transport by air is considered as the quickest and the unrestricted mode of transportation. Shippers are not necessarily expecting faster times, but greater reliability and predictability. (source: IATA, Global shipper’s survey, 2018)
Since air freight transportation’s cost is higher, shipped commodities thus have high values per unit or are very time-sensitive, such as documents, pharmaceuticals, fashion garments, production samples, electronics consumer goods, flowers and perishable agricultural and seafood products. They also include some inputs to meet just-in-time production and emergency shipments of spare parts.(source: ACI North America, Air Cargo Guide, an historical perspective, 2013).
Air freight transportation recent trends
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight markets showing that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs), decreased by 3.4% in May 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. This was a slight improvement on the 5.6% contraction in April.
“The impact of the US-China trade war on air freight volumes in May was clear. Year-on-year demand fell by 3.4%. It’s evidence of the economic damage that is done when barriers to trade are erected.” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
However the situation presented different regional performances. European airlines posted a 0.2% decrease in freight demand in May 2019 compared to the same period a year earlier. This is a significant improvement on the 6.9% contraction in April.
The only regions to report positive data were Latin America, that experienced an increase in freight demand growth in May 2019 of 2.7%, and Africa, with an increase in demand of 8.0% compared to the same period a year earlier.
Worst results were registered by Asia-Pacific airlines (-6,4 ), Middle Eastern airlines (-6,9 %) and North American airlines (-1,6 %).
Despite industry confidence regarding the outlook, however remains relatively upbeat with only 13% of respondents from IATA’s Business Confidence Survey expecting to see a decrease in freight volumes in 2019 compared to 2018.
As freight forwarders providing air freight transportation services, we share this optimism!
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