WorldACD: Slow start to 2019 but special cargo grows

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Global air cargo got off to a slow start in 2019 with volumes dropping 2% in January, with special cargo mitigating the fall, according to WorldACD.

General cargo got off to a slow start, down 5% with valuables and dangerous goods also down, though perishables grew 6%, high tech by 4%, pharmaceuticals by 5% and live animals by 9%.

Smaller regions experienced growth, with Africa up 3.8% and Central and South America by 0.6% but larger markets struggled.

Origin Europe and North America both declined around 4%, but incoming business in Asia Pacific was down 6%, with origin from North America falling 8% and Europe 9.5%.

Origin China grew by 5% but destination China fell by more than 10%, a trend WorldACD observed in the past two months but was more noticeable in January due to the early Chinese New Year.

Certain countries did well, with Morocco and Egypt being the bright spots of Africa, along with Ecuador and Costa Rica for Central and South America.

Individual countries in Western Europe dropped 5.5% but the UK grew 5%, which WorldACD speculates could be a pre-Brexit stock up of British made goods.

WorldACD also looked at companies that performed well, reporting that Asia Pacific airlines grew 0.7% whilst Africa, MESA and Central and South America did not grow.

Airlines in North America grew by 6.3% and Europe by 3.8%, with Europeans improving their share everywhere but Europe itself.

Among forwarders, 13 with a European origin grew by 0.5% whilst four MESA and North American forwarders were up by 1.5%.

WorldACD says the winners were the Japanese forwarders, growing by 7.2% mainly driven by growth in Asia Pacific and North America.

Major perishable forwarders including Kuehne + Nagel, Panalpina, DB Schenker and Newport recorded growth of 13-16% in this category.

GSAs grew by 5.2% with ECS and WFC groups who represent 30% of the market, growing by 3.7%, with individual performances differing quite a bit.