Air freight markets weakened in March, and the improvement in air cargo growth rates that began towards the end of 2012 has stalled, according to figures released by the International Air Transport Association.
Global air freight volume is now only 1.5 percent above the October 2012 low point. Global freight metric ton kilometers were down 2.3 percent in March compared with the same month last year, with only the Middle East and Africa showing an expansion, the report said.
Asia-Pacific carriers were the largest players in air freight, together comprising 38.5 percent of the market. With a 3.3 percent year-over-year decline, this region showed the greatest weakness in terms of actual freight volumes, according to IATA. However, the U.S. and Europe had larger percentage falls, 5.2 percent and 4.0 percent respectively, but on a smaller market share.
“The March decline in air cargo is most likely a temporary stall,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO, in a written statement. “The fundamentals for a sustained improvement in air cargo volumes are in place. Business confidence continues to signal forthcoming expansion, and the solid increase in new export orders seen in 2013 should boost air freight in the coming months.”