Global air freight tonnage has been falling for the past year – IATA expect no growth in 2019

Heathrow hopes, if it ever got its 3rd runway (looking increasingly unlikely for a range of reasons …) to get a 50% or so increase in air freight.  Manston hopes to re-open as a freight airport.  But the increase in tonnage of air freight over the past few years has not been large.  In the UK over the past 10 years, CAA data show an increase in tonnage of 11.6% between 2008 and 2018. Global data from IATA, which produces a report on air freight for most months, indicates tonnages have been falling for the past year.  The comments from August 2019 state:  “• Industry-wide air freight tonne kilometres fell by 3.9% year-on-year in August – a faster speed of decline compared to the previous month. … the industry continues to face headwinds from weakening global trade and softness in a number of key economic indicators. • The deterioration in air freight has been broad-based across the regions in August .. . [as in the] past nine months, Asia Pacific was the main contributor to the industry decline. • Industry-wide air freight capacity increased by 2% compared to a year ago. With capacity rising against contracting demand, the industry-wide air freight load factor dropped by 2.7% compared to a year ago”.   IATA says growth is anticipated to be flat in 2019.
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Impacts of US/China trade battle and Brexit uncertainty has brought the following statement from IATA on Air Cargo growth (June 2019):
 

“The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has further downgraded its expectations for global air freight this year following a sustained decline in volumes in the first months, and is now forecasting zero growth in 2019.”  See link 


AIR FREIGHT MARKET ANALYSIS

December 2018

https://www.iata.org/publications/economics/Reports/freight-monthly-analysis/freight-analysis-dec-2018.pdf

Air cargo volumes end 2018 on a soft note

 Industry-wide freight tonne kilometres (FTKs) ended 2018 0.5% lower than their level of December 2017; the slowest annual growth rate since early-2016.
 For the year as a whole, FTKs increased by 3.5% in 2018, down from 9.7% in 2017. With capacity increasing faster than demand, the 2018 freight load factor fell by 0.9pp compared with 2017.
 While a slowdown in freight demand growth was expected following the boost from the inventory restocking cycle in 2017, there are indications that the data are also reflecting the impact of the increasing headwinds to freight demand from renewed signs of weakness in global trade and economic indicators.
 We expect cargo volumes to increase by 3.7% in 2019; the risks to this forecast appear tilted to the downside


Air Freight Market Analysis

February 2019

https://www.iata.org/publications/economics/Reports/freight-monthly-analysis/freight-analysis-feb-2019.pdf

Air cargo volumes fall further in February

• Industry-wide freight tonne kilometres (FTKs) for February were 4.7% below their level of February 2018; the slowest annual rate of growth in three years.

• In contrast to demand, air freight capacity has grown moderately over the past 12 months, rising by 2.7% in year-on-year terms. Consequently, the freight load factor is currently 3.5 percentage points lower than a year ago.

• Latin America was the only region to register a positive year-on-year rate of FTK growth this month.

• The negative impact of the softness in global trade and economic indicators is becoming increasingly evident in the recent air freight outcomes. Ongoing trade tensions continue to weigh upon the industry.

…. see rest of report for details


Air Freight Market Analysis

July 2019

https://www.iata.org/publications/economics/Reports/freight-monthly-analysis/freight-analysis-jul-2019.pdf

Air cargo volumes remain weak, trade tensions dent outlook

• Industry-wide freight tonne kilometres (FTKs) declined by 3.2% year-on-year in July reflecting the widespread softness in world trade and a number of economic indicators.

• The weakness in air freight volumes remains broad-based across regions in July. While the largest falls came from Asia Pacific and the Middle East, Africa went against the trend to record double-digit year-on-year FTK growth.

• Growth in industry-wide air freight capacity increased to 2.6% year-on-year in July, but is still well below the average monthly pace (5.3%) in 2018. With capacity continuing to outpace demand, the freight load factor has eased by 2.7 percentage points over the past twelve months.

…. see rest of report for details


Air Freight Market Analysis

August 2019

https://www.iata.org/publications/economics/Reports/freight-monthly-analysis/freight-analysis-aug-2019.pdf

Air freight declines against softer market backdrop

• Industry-wide air freight tonne kilometres fell by 3.9% year-on-year in August – a faster speed of decline compared to the previous month. As argued before, the industry continues to face headwinds from weakening global trade and
softness in a number of key economic indicators.

• The deterioration in air freight has been broad-based across the regions in August except for Africa that expanded at a solid pace. As was the case for the past nine months, Asia Pacific was the main contributor to the industry decline.

• Industry-wide air freight capacity increased by 2% compared to a year ago. With capacity rising against contracting demand, the industry-wide air freight load factor dropped by 2.7 percentage points compared to a year ago.

…. see rest of report for details


IATA Air Freight Monthly Analysis

See link

IATA produces monthly air freight figures for the global industry. Some recent examples:

 

Air Freight Monthly Analysis – Apr 2019
29 May 2019 

Air Freight Monthly Analysis – Aug 2019
9 October 2019 

Air Freight Monthly Analysis – Jul 2019
5 September 2019

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More reports here 

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IATA now forecasting zero air freight growth in 2019

By Will Waters  (Lloyds Loading List)

05 June 2019

International Air Transport Association further downgrades its expectations for this year following a sustained decline in volumes, as US-China trade tensions escalate

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has further downgraded its expectations for global air freight this year following a sustained decline in volumes in the first months, and is now forecasting zero growth in 2019.

The association’s forecasts have continued to worsen during the last six months, after originally estimating at the end of last year that 2019 would see growth of around 3.7%, a figure that it downgraded in April from 3.7% to 2%.

But following the continuation and subsequent worsening in international trade tensions between the US and China, and continuing Brexit-related trade uncertainty in Europe, the association said this week: “After an exceptional performance in 2017 (+9.7% growth), cargo demand growth slowed to 3.4% in 2018. It is anticipated to be flat in 2019 with cargo volumes of 63.1 million tonnes (63.3 million tonnes in 2018) because of the impact of higher tariffs on trade.

“Cargo yields are expected to be flat in 2019 after a 12.3% improvement in 2018, as cargo load factors fall further, and supply-demand conditions weaken.”

Brian Pearce, IATA’s chief economist, confirmed to Lloyd’s Loading List that a further downgrade was necessary because “the hoped-for US China trade deal has not come through. The whole international trade situation has deteriorated further.”

The latest data released by IATA for global air freight markets showing that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs), fell 4.7% in April 2019, compared to the same period the year before. This continued the negative trend in year-on-year demand that began in January, although in volume terms, air freight has not grown for more than a year, and there were several months of year-on-year decline at the end of 2018.

Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTKs), grew by 2.6% year-on-year in April 2019, meaning that capacity growth has now outpaced that of demand for the last 12 months.

“Air cargo volumes have been volatile in 2019, due to the timing of Chinese New Year and Easter, but the trend is clearly downwards, with volumes around 3% below the August 2018 peak,” IATA noted

“Brexit-related trade uncertainty in Europe and trade tensions between the US and China, have contributed to declining new export orders. In month-on-month terms, export orders have increased only three times in the past 15 months and the global measure has been indicating negative export demand since September. The continued weakness is likely to lead to further subdued annual FTK growth in the coming months.”

Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO, commented: “April saw a sharp decline in air cargo growth and the trend is clearly negative this year. Cost inputs are rising, trade tensions are affecting confidence, and global trade is weakening.

“Airlines are adjusting their capacity growth to try and fall into line with the dip in global trade since the end of 2018. It all adds up to a challenging year ahead for the cargo business. Governments should respond by easing trade barriers in order to drive economic activity.”

https://www.lloydsloadinglist.com/freight-directory/news/IATA-now-forecasting-zero-air-freight-growth-in-2019/74399.htm#.Xa7xV5NKgWo

 

 


CAA produces airport statistics

Monthly and annually for all UK airports.  CAA airport data

See link

2008 2018 % change 2008 to 2018
HEATHROW  1,397,054  1,699,663 22.60%
EAST MIDLANDS INTERNATIONAL  261,507  334,536 27.90%
STANSTED  197,738  226,128 14.50%
MANCHESTER  141,781  114,131 -19.50%
GATWICK  107,702  112,600 4.50%
BIRMINGHAM  12,192  33,709
BELFAST INTERNATIONAL  36,115  27,672
LUTON  40,518  26,193
EDINBURGH  12,418  20,316
GLASGOW  3,546  15,466
PRESTWICK  22,966  13,003
DONCASTER SHEFFIELD  1,350  7,107
ABERDEEN  4,006  5,706
NEWCASTLE  1,938  5,524
CARDIFF WALES  1,334  1,459
JERSEY  4,332  1,041
GUERNSEY  3,309  937
SCATSTA  723  449
SUMBURGH  144  333
ISLAY  275  283
SOUTHAMPTON  264  233
BELFAST CITY (GEORGE BEST)  168  227
NORWICH  239  220
STORNOWAY  551  217
LIVERPOOL (JOHN LENNON)  3,740  159
ISLE OF MAN  595  150
HUMBERSIDE  168  121
ALDERNEY  323  95
ISLES OF SCILLY (ST.MARYS)  180  74
LANDS END (ST JUST)  18  65
KIRKWALL  106  38
BENBECULA  235  24
TIREE  23  21
BARRA  34  13
BRISTOL  3  7
LONDON CITY  –  7
LEEDS BRADFORD  334  3
NEWQUAY  –  3
OXFORD (KIDLINGTON)  –  1
DURHAM TEES VALLEY  290  1
CAMPBELTOWN  1  0
EXETER  47  0
INVERNESS  526  0
BOURNEMOUTH  17  0
SOUTHEND  16  –
BLACKPOOL  47  –
CAMBRIDGE  18  –
COVENTRY  5,921  –
ISLES OF SCILLY (TRESCO)  38  –
MANSTON (KENT INT)  25,673  –
PENZANCE HELIPORT  190  –
WICK JOHN O GROATS  2  –
Total UK reporting airports 2,282,153 2,645,710 11.60%