At the 2014 half-year mark, global air freight markets registered a combined 4.1% increase in volume compared with the same period in 2013, according to IATA’s June air freight market analysis. The mid-year growth rate is “well above the 1.4% growth in 2013 overall,” IATA said. At this point in 2013, the air freight market year-to-date growth over the previous year stood at just 0.1%.
While June’s air cargo volumes increased 2.3% year-over-year for the month, a 2.4 point slide from May, “current freight tonne-kilometer levels are the highest they have been since mid-2010,” IATA said. “Demand conditions throughout 2014 have been strong enough to support these improved FTK levels.”
Yet sustained acceleration in growth has been absent in recent months. Freight volume growth has fluctuated: January’s total market FTK year-over-year growth was 4.5%; February’s was 2.9%; March’s 5.9%; April’s 3.2%; May’s 4.7%.
Air-cargo volumes faltered in June for the Latin America market (down 3.4% year-over-year); Europe was down 1.5% and North America was largely flat, declining 0.1%
Air freight volumes in the Middle East grew 7% year-over-year in June, and by 10% year-to-date, primarily through “introducing services to regions of strong and developing trade activity, including Mexico … and Uganda,” IATA said.
Asia-Pacific volumes were up 4.9% year-over-year for June and have risen 4.6% year-to-date. IATA noted a strong increase in China export orders in June, “suggesting the upturn in regional trade growth could be sustained in the months ahead.”
African airlines showed a 4.8% year-over-year growth in air cargo volumes; though year-to-date Africa’s cargo volume growth is 3.1%. “This is largely a result of economic slowdown in some major regional economies, including South Africa,” IATA said.
Total market AFTK capacity increased 2.6% year-over-year, resulting in a global freight load factor of 44.9% for the month, down 0.2 point from May.
“At the half-way point of the year, it is clear that overall cargo demand is much stronger than in 2013,” IATA DG and CEO Tony Tyler said. “Asia-Pacific and the Middle East have been the biggest beneficiaries of the improved market conditions.”