The first month of 2019 confirmed the trend that has been apparent for a number of months now, according to WorldACD Market Data – another volume drop, this time of 2.0 per cent YoY, coupled with a yield drop (in USD) of 2.5 per cent.
The smaller regions of Africa and Central & South America (C&S Am) again managed a YoY increase in outgoing business (by 3.8 and 0.6 respectively), in the case of C&S Am accompanied by a YoY yield increase (in USD) of almost 5.0 per cent.
All other origin regions were down YoY. For the origins Europe and North America, the drop hovered around 4.0 per cent, but even more telling was the drop in incoming business in Asia Pacific (-6 per cent in total, -8 per cent from the origin North America, and -9.5 per cent from the origin Europe).
Origin China grew by 5.0 per cent YoY, but the destination China fell by more than 10 per cent. WorldACD says it observed this trend in the past two months, but it was more pronounced in January due to the early Chinese New Year (5 February). “As we see it, the period preceding this day seems to have a small positive effect on outgoing business from Asia Pacific, but a more serious negative effect on incoming business,” the data analytics company says.
The countries doing well in January were Morocco and Egypt in Africa, and Ecuador and Costa Rica in C&S Am. And perhaps surprisingly, while all individual countries in Western Europe saw a YoY drop (- 5.5 per cent in total), the UK grew by 5.0 per cent, leading WorldACD to ask: “Do we witness a pre-Brexit stocking up of goods made in Britain?”. Germany fared worst in Europe, with a YoY drop in outgoing air cargo of 8.7 per cent (-14.5 per cent to Asia Pacific).
Summary of January figures
• Total Chargeable Weight declined -2.0 per cent year-over-year (YoY) and -6.2 per cent month-over-month (MoM).
• General cargo was down -5.0 per cent YoY, while special cargo rose +4.6 per cent YoY.
• Direct Tonne Kilometres (DTK’s) dropped -1.9 per cent YoY which WorldACD says that given the -2.0 per cent change in volume, this means that average distance per shipment hardly changed.
• Yield dropped to USD 1.84 (-2.5 per cent YoY, -8.0 per cent MoM). Cargo load factor dropped by 1.9 percentage points YoY and by 4.0 percentage points MoM.
• Revenues (USD) from the smallest shipments (0-50 kg) suffered the least (-2.1 per cent YoY), wile those from the largest shipments (>5000 kg) suffered most (-6.4 per cent YoY).
On the product front, January 2019 was a good month for certain specific cargo categories. Apart from general cargo, valuables and dangerous goods, all categories improved YoY. The big categories of perishables and high tech grew by 6.0 and 4.0 per cent respectively, pharmaceuticals by 5.0 per cent and the much smaller group of live animals by 9.0 per cent, according to WorldACD.
Looking at how airlines grew in 2018, the data company notes that in spite of an overall growth between 2017 and 2018 of 2.0 per cent, most airline groups hardly grew: Airlines from Asia Pacific reported 0.7 per cent growth, whilst those from Africa, MESA and C&S Am languished around the no-growth point. Only the airlines from North America (+6.3 per cent) and Europe (+3.8 per cent) beat the worldwide average growth, with European carriers improving their share everywhere, except in Europe itself.
The world’s top-20 forwarders went from a 43.2 per cent to a 43 per cent market share, but WorldACD notes that within this elite group, differences were noticeable. The 13 forwarders with a European origin grew by 0.5 per cent only, while the four MESA and North American forwarders did just a bit better (+1.5 per cent).
The real winners in 2018 were the Japanese forwarders, growing their business by 7.2 per cent, mainly driven by growth in Asia Pacific and North America. Leading forwarders in perishables, such as Kuehne + Nagel, Panalpina, DB Schenker and Newport, recorded double digit growth (between 13 and 16 per cent) in this category, WorldACD says.
Turning its attention to the world of general sales agents, WorldACD notes that GSA’s grew their business by 5.2 per cent. The two groups dominating the GSA-field (ECS and WFC), representing around 30 per cent of the total volume sold by GSAs, together grew by 3.7 per cent – less than the GSA-market as a whole. Their individual performances differed quite a bit, WorldACD adds.