According to Netherlands-based WorldACD, worldwide air cargo volume (measured by chargeable weight) in September was up 5.2% y-o-y, the strongest growth in two years.
In its analyis, WorldACD said: “The origin Europe contributed most to the positive figures, with a YoY volume increase of 8%. Asia Pacific followed suit with a 6% increase. Unfortunately, Latin America again did not contribute any growth: the area remains in the doldrums. At country level, USA and China stood out as the most important growth markets, both inbound and outbound. Also, it seems that one of the traditional ‘engines’ of the end-of-year growth, viz. Hong Kong, has started its climb towards the November peak somewhat earlier than in previous years.
With a 1.4% increase month-over-month (MoM), worldwide yield – expressed in USD – added some further lustre to the uplifting September data.”
Another point of interest is a new measure of air freight demand introduced last month by WorldACD. As we have often pointed out, WorldACD has long measured that demand in chargeable weight – that is, revenue tonnes carried. On the other hand, IATA does its analysis based on traffic – revenue tonne kilometers flown (RTKs). Both measures have their place, but to try to provide a more meaningful picture, WorldACD developed the concept of Direct Tonne Kilometers (DTK), which is the weight carried multiplied by the shortest distance between origin and destination of a shipment. This eliminates the ballooning of traffic (in RTKs) caused by carriers flying indirect (sometimes very indirect) routes rather than point-to-point from origin to destination.
Applying this new measure to the whole third quarter of 2016, WorldACD found that while volume (in tonnes) was up 3.2% over 3Q15, DTKs increased 4.3%, indicating stronger growth in long-haul traffic.
Two weeks ago, when we looked at early reports from some of the big cargo carriers and airports, we predicted that IATA would likely report cargo traffic growth (in freight tonne kilometers flown) for September of about 6%. Since WorldACD has recently been reporting growth figures lower than IATA’s, we expect our prediction to be pretty much on target, or possibly even slightly low.