September has proved to be another slow month for air cargo with demand growing two per cent, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) says.
The growth is similar to previous months though less than half the five-year average rate of 5.1 per cent measured in freight tonne kilometres.
Growth is being supported by strong consumer confidence, robust global investment and rising international e-commerce but there has been a global contraction in manufacturing firms’ export order books for the first time since June 2017, and longer supplier delivery times are being reported by manufacturers in most of Asia and Europe.
Freight capacity measured in available freight tonne kilometres grew by 3.2 per cent in September; the seventh month in a row capacity has outstripped demand though yields are holding up.
IATA director general and chief executive officer, Alexandre de Juniac says: “Weakening order books and longer delivery times are undercutting the need for air freight in many traditional markets. But there is also some positive news. For example, strong consumer confidence goes hand-in-hand with expanding international e-commerce trade to give air cargo a boost.”
He adds: “The bigger message for the sector is the need to modernise processes. There is some progress with the electronic air waybill becoming the default document on enabled trade lanes from 2019. But there is much more that must be done with governments and the supply chain to bring air cargo processes into the modern era.”