April 2019 was the first month in which all regions, without exception, were confronted with the growing impact of adverse market movements that started last September, says WorldACD Market Data.
“For quite a while now, reading about world trade has not been an undivided pleasure for people working in air cargo,” the data analytics body says in its latest update. “More and more, they notice pessimism, bleak outlooks, somber moods. The latest figures bear out that things don’t look up at all in their business.”
For both incoming and outgoing air cargo, each region returned YoY volume figures worse than the first quarter of the year, underscoring the clear slow-down in global business.
Total Chargeable Weight is down: -6.4 per cent year-over-year (YoY) and -9.6 per cent month-over-month (MoM). General cargo (-9.9 per cent YoY) was predictably hit full on, as compared to special cargo which actually grew by +2.1 per cent YoY.
Direct Tonne Kilometers (DTK’s) dropped -6.7 per cent YoY. Yield increased to USD 1.81 (-6.3 per cent YoY, +0.3 per cent MoM). The yield measured in EUR stood at 1.61.
The cargo load factor dropped by 3.8 percentage points YoY, and by 3.6 percentage points MoM. High-Tech & Other Vulnerable Goods (the largest category special cargo) increased by 5.2 per cent YoY, while the second largest category (Pharma & Temperature Controlled Goods) rose by 4.1 per cent YoY.
From region to region, some markets at least in which YoY-figures for April were better (less worrisome) than those for Q1. In particular, business from Africa to Asia Pacific and to the Americas, as well as business from Central & South America (C&S Am) to North America and to the Middle East & South Asia (MESA).
WorldACD points out another development which it says merits some attention. In the regions Africa, MESA and North America, the YoY figures for traffic within the region were slightly better in April than in Q1.
This development contributed to the fact that, for the first month in a long period, DTK’s (Direct Tonne Kilometres) dropped more than volume (-6.7 per cent vs. -6.4 per cent YoY). In other words, the average distance over which shipments were carried, got shorter in April.
“There is no denying that the bigger air cargo regions are hit hardest in the uncertain times we live in,” it says pointing to the fact traffic from Asia Pacific to Africa grew, but that hardly offers consolation to the Asia Pacific market.
Europe and North America, as well as MESA, were even denied such a small glimmer of hope, it adds. The contraction of business from these areas was shown in negative percentages not seen for years. And adding insult to injury, the trend in worldwide yields further contributes to worsening results for airlines.
While yields (measured in USD) grew by 11 per cent from 2017 to 2018, they have fallen by 5.0 per cent from Jan-Apr 2018 to Jan-Apr 2019. And their YoY decline is growing by the month.