Data released by the International Air Transport Association IATA, is showing a cargo volume fall of 0.6% compared to July 2014 also revealing a growth slowdown from earlier this year.
IATA’s CEO and general director, Tony Tyler stated that the recent stock-market turmoil showed that investors have real fears about the strength of the global economy and the disappointing July freight performance was symptomatic of a broader slowdown in economic growth. He continues by saying the combination of China’s continues shift towards domestic markets, wider weakness in emerging markets and a slowing down of the global trade indicated that it will continue to be a rough ride for air cargo in the months ahead.
The weakness in air cargo is consistent with declines in trade activity, mostly in emerging markets, and an inward turn to domestic sources by Chinese consumers, said IATA. The decline spread across all regions except Africa and the Middle East, with the most pronounced decrease in the Americas, where international freight ton kilometers were down more than 5 percent. North American carriers have experienced a significant drop in volumes since getting a boost early in the year from shippers switching from ocean transport to avoid congestion issues at U.S. West Coast ports.
During the first seven month of this year, the air freight volumes went up with 2.9% year on year.
On a seasonally adjusted basis for international freight only, freight ton kilometers have remained flat since the end of 2014 and the market was 2% smaller in July compared to December, IATA said.
Middle East growth of 10.8 percent in July was lower than expected because of difficult yearly comparisons owing to the timing of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which took place mostly in July in 2014 but started in June this year. Ramadan tends to boost demand for air freight, including gifts and foodstuffs, IATA said.