ACI: International freight weak while domestic volumes grow

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Changi Airport

Worldwide freight grew by 1.1 per cent in March, with domestic growth making up for international weakness, Airports Council International (ACI) says in its March 2016 FreightFlash.

International volumes were down by 2.1 per cent in March, with North America down by 11.9 per cent, followed by Latin America-Caribbean at 4.1 per cent, with Asia Pacific seeing a 0.5 per cent fall. The Middle East saw the largest increase in March, at 2.9 per cent, followed by Africa at 1.3 per cent and Europe at 0.5 per cent.

Domestic volumes increased by nine per cent in March with North America seeing the biggest rise at 12.6 per cent, followed by Asia Pacific at 6.4 per cent. Latin America-Caribbean was down by 4.3 per cent and Europe by 2.7 per cent.

ACI says: “Passenger air traffic, even taking into account the moderate slowdown after two months of high growth, is significantly stronger as compared to air freight, where industry-wide capacity growth is in collision with falling demand. Global trade growth remains subdued, while international tourism is on the rise.”

Many regions saw mixed growth, with North America seeing double digit growth in Memphis and Louisville, while other large hubs including Chicago O’Hare and New York John F. Kennedy seeing declines. In Asia Pacific, some hubs including Singapore Changi and Delhi experienced growth while others such as Tokyo Narita was down 10 per cent. North America and Asia Pacific both received a boost at the start of 2015 due to the US West Coast seaport strike.

Europe was variable, with both Frankfurt and London Heathrow declining but Paris Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol seeing growth. Latin America-Caribbean volumes were dragged down by weakness in Brazil though other countries such as Columbia and Peru were weak.

Qatar drove growth in the Middle East making up for weakness in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Africa saw growth in Casablanca and Dakar while Johannesburg remained flat and Nairobi was down 6.4 per cent.