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Airfreight takes a dive in 2019 – update

[ February 5, 2020   //   ]

Airfreight demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs), fell by 3.3% compared to 2018 while capacity (AFTK) rose by 2.1%, according to the latest figures from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The full-year 2019 data for global air freight markets showed the first year of declining freight volumes since 2012, and the weakest performance since the global financial crisis in 2009 (when air freight markets contracted by 9.7%). Performance in 2019 was dampened by weak growth in global trade of just 0.9 and slowing GDP growth in manufacturing-intensive economies. However, there are signs that confidence and orders could pick up in 2020, says IATA though it is too early to say what the long-term effects of the coronavirus outbreak will be.

Data analyst CLIVE meanwhile said that the global air cargo market saw a 4% year-on-year decline in the four weeks to February 2, 2020, according to its latest ‘dynamic load factor’ market intelligence. The dynamic load factor fell two percentage points relative to last year to 65%.

The fall largely reflects the earlier Chinese New Year but CLIVE is also closely monitoring the impact of the coronavirus on airfreight volumes. The ‘normalised’ global market saw a decline of 1%, CLIVE calculates.

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