WorldACD: March growth not seen since 2009/10

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An American Airlines Boeing 767 gets loaded at Heathrow Airport
An American Airlines Boeing 767 gets loaded at Heathrow Airport

The month of March will be remembered in air cargo for a year-on-year (YOY) percentage growth not seen since the recovery years 2009/2010, according to the latest report by WorldACD Market Data.

The worldwide YOY numbers impressive the market analyst says “by any standard” and included a 14.6 per cent increase in chargeable weight (origins Asia Pacific and Europe +19 per cent).

There was also a 16.4 per cent rise in direct ton kilometres – the measure combining weight with the geographical distance between origin and destination of shipments.

But World ACD says the first 100 days of US President Donald Trump didn’t lead to an uptick in air cargo for US carriers, who it says as a group were well “way behind all other regional carrier groups”.

However, for all carriers together, revenues (in USD) from air cargo destined for the US grew stronger than for any other destination region (+14.7 per cent against +8.5 per cent worldwide), but revenues from the US showed the opposite trend – +2.3 per cent versus +8.5 per cent worldwide. Revenues from domestic US dropped by 2.9 per cent.

World ACD says business was particularly upbeat from Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, London, Milano, Frankfurt and Chicago, which all had a growth of more than 20 per cent.

The analyst says it expects April will be another very good month, but – in view also of the Easter-effect – YOY growth may stop around 10 per cent.

And it notes airlines must have been pleased with a worldwide USD-yield improvement of 5.1 per cent month-on-month. The origin area Asia Pacific showed the highest growth (+11.9 per cent), but this area was also the only one with a yield drop for all incoming traffic (-0.7 per cent). The yield index for eight of the ten largest region-to-region markets went up as well.

World ACD says carriers from Asia Pacific and the Middle East recorded the largest overall YOY growth with 12 per cent, and nine per cent, respectively.

Their colleagues from the Americas grew more than their Asian and European competitors in non-general cargo. The Americans showed strong YOY growth in dangerous goods (DGR), pharmaceuticals (PIL) and vulnerable cargo, albeit from a small base.

The five African carriers in the analyst’s database, although not necessarily representative for Africa as a whole, almost doubled their carriage of DGR and grew 40 per cent in PIL, but again: from a low base.

In perishables, African carriers attained the highest growth percentage of all. The Europeans remain far ahead in total tonnes carried in PIL and DGR: their percentage growth may have been lower, but they still added an impressive 10 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively to their volumes.