Global air freight markets data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has shown that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs), increased 0.1% in March 2019 when compared to the same period in 2018.
According to the data, while this was a significant improvement
on the 4.9% contraction in February, in seasonally adjusted terms, demand was
still down 1.5% over the past year.
Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs), rose by 3.1% year-on-year in March 2019. Capacity growth has now outstripped demand growth for 11 out of the last 12 months.
Demand for air cargo continues to face significant headwinds:
- Global trade volumes have fallen by 1% over the past year;
- Global economic activity and consumer confidence continue to weaken;
- And the export order component of the global manufacturers Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) has indicated falling global export orders since September 2018.
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.
“Year-on-year demand for air freight edged back into positive territory in March with 0.1% growth. After four consecutive months of contraction, this is an encouraging development. But the headwinds from weakening global trade, growing trade tensions and shrinking order books have not gone away,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.