June growth in air freight

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released its figures for June, and the outlook for the air freight market is relatively positive.

According to IATA, there was a 1.2 per cent year-on-year expansion in global freight demand in June. The association described this growth as weak, but it is still an improvement on the 0.9 per cent rise recorded in the previous month.

When comparing June 2013 to the same month last year, Freight Tonne Kilometers (FTK) – which measures actual freight traffic, saw a 1.2 per cent growth in both international and domestic markets. Available Freight Tonne Kilometers (AFTK), which measures available total freight capacity, saw a 2.8 per cent rise in the international market and a 2.4 per cent increase on the domestic side.

IATA said that the global economic trend is defined by robust emerging economies and stagnant growth in developed market, but now some of the strongest improvements in regards to business confidence is being seen in the developed countries.

Despite the positive figures, Allport Cargo Services believe that confidence in air freight still remains weak, because it’s too early to tell if June was a positive turning point after 18 months of poor figures.

Air freight volumes are at their highest since mid-2011, but that good news needs to be tempered with a dose of reality. The global economic environment remains weak, and the basis for the acceleration of air cargo growth in June appears to be fragile.

A 0.8 per cent growth in global freight volumes was recorded between May and June this year, with up to 25 per cent of this attributed to European airlines.

Despite crisis in the eurozone, the volumes of European carriers has shown signs of becoming stable.

Consumer confidence also improved in the European market, which could see a greater demand of light-weight high-value goods which are usually transported via air freighters.

July also saw the release of the IATA’s latest Airline Business Confidence Index. It reported that nearly 58 per cent of respondents expected an increase in freight volumes over the coming 12 months.

However, confidence regarding cargo yields was still low, with 72.2 per cent expecting there to be no change in this, despite an increase in demand.