IATA: Cargo struggles in February

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International Air Transport Association's director general and chief executive officer, Tony Tyler (July 2015)

Worldwide freight tonne kilometres (FTK) fell by 5.6 per cent in February, though the 2015 result was skewed by the US West Coast seaport strikes, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) says.

The association says all regions of the world saw FTK falling except Latin America, which was up 2.7 per cent despite Brazil suffering its worst recession for 25 years, and the Middle East expansion slowing to 3.7 per cent.

Elsewhere in the world, Africa declined 1.7 per cent as large economies such as Nigeria and South Africa continue to struggle from the commodity slump. Asia Pacific had particularly benefitted from the US West Coast seaport strikes of 2015, but this year saw the largest drop worldwide, down 12.4 per cent, also being hit by weak trading conditions and factory closures for Lunar New Year Celebrations.

European freight fell by 2.4 per cent in February and IATA comments volumes are barely higher than in 2008. North America saw FTKs drop by four per cent with future growth dependent on import growth with the strong US dollar hitting exports.

IATA director general and chief executive officer, Tony Tyler says: “The airfreight business remains a difficult one. February’s performance continues a weak trend. And there are few factors on the horizon that would see this change substantially.”

“In the absence of an imminent resurgence of demand, the importance of improving the value proposition with modernised processes – the e-freight vision – remains a top priority.”

Worldwide load factors keep falling, with a 5.7 percentage point fall to 41 per cent. By region Africa’s load factors are the worst, falling 7.1 percentage points to 25 per cent, and Asia Pacific’s are highest, but even those are down 8.5 percentage points to 46.2 per cent.