Yesterday we predicted that when IATA published its analysis of worldwide air cargo traffic for February, it would show a decline, but not as severe as the 6.2% drop reported by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines. Well, IATA hasn’t reported February results yet, but WorldACD has, and it looks like our guess was on target, as the Netherlands-based company reported worldwide demand for air cargo (measured by chargeable weight) down 3.8% y-o-y in February (see the chart, below).
WorldACD said the biggest volume drops were on shipments originating in Asia and North America, where the year-over-year declines were more than 7%. But, just as we did yesterday, WorldACD also pointed out that the February results have to be viewed with two things in mind:
- The Lunar New Year holiday occurred earlier in February this year than last, pushing more shipments into January and making the February comparison tougher.
- The labor dispute at the US West Coast ports in early 2015 boosted demand for airfreight, again making the comparison tougher this year.
Given the impact of those two factors, it looks like underlying air freight demand in early 2016 is not much different than it was in early 2015.