In mid-July, when we looked at the early reports of June cargo data from some of the big carriers, airports, and handlers, we felt confident in predicting that when IATA and WorldACD published their complete worldwide summaries, they would show year-over-year air freight demand continuing to grow at a double-digit rate. Perhaps not quite at the 13% rate we saw May, but still very strong.
WorldACD today, confirmed that prediction, reporting June cargo volume (measured in chargeable weight) up 10.5% y-o-y, and cargo traffic (in direct tonne kilometers) up 12.8%. The strongest growth (in percentage terms) was in the markets Turkey to the Middle East & South Asia, Belgium to Asia Pacific, and Belgium to North America – up 54%, 50% and 46% respectively. In terms of absolute weight, the biggest growth was in shipments ex-Germany and ex-Hong Kong.
Yields were also up strongly – 7.5% over June 2016 – which is a welcome continuation of a trend that started only four months ago, after years of yield decline. As WorldACD points out, the yield increase comes with the caveat that some of the gain is likely the result of rising fuel prices and surcharges, so the bottom-line impact may not be quite 7.5%. But even if some of the gain is just a reflection of rising fuel prices, the news is still good.
Commenting on the pattern of yield increases, WorldACD said: “Interestingly, positive yield and volume developments seemed to go hand in hand: from Asia Pacific to North America, growth of each was around 20%, and from Asia Pacific to Europe around 15%.”