Changes in Air Freight

IATA’s periodical Airlines International has published an interesting story about changes in the Airfreight landscape.

Air freight is learning its lessons from the crisis and becoming a different industry.

The massive decline in international air freight traffic due to the global recession—over 20% year-on-year at the lowest point—has given way to the first signs of recovery. But cargo will likely never again experience “business as usual”.

IATA expects 2009 to show a 13% contraction, with a modest improvement of 7.7% in 2010. Total freight volumes will remain 10% below the 41.8 million tonne peak recorded in 2007 although cargo demand is rising slightly faster than world trade as companies look to replenish inventories. Yields have been hit hard, last year plummeting 15%. They are expected to only improve by 0.9% in 2010.

And even though marginally better times may be on the horizon, a cautious attitude to the figures is still advised. Brian Pearce, IATA Chief Economist, stresses that air freight has so far only recovered about half of the volumes lost in 2008.

“There are headwinds to any growth,” he says. “Banks are still short of capital, high unemployment effects will come into play, and consumer debt is high—it’s 130% of annual income in US. This affects spending patterns and will ripple through the system.

“Another factor is the unevenness of growth,” he continues. “There is only a small increase in demand in developed nations compared with the likes of India, China and Brazil.”

Please visit IATA’s website to read the full story.


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