Volume up, yield down in April

Along with its usual monthly summary of air freight volume and yield, Netherlands-based WorldACD today published some interesting data on the forwarding and GSA industries.

WorldACD wieght & yield April 2015We’ll start with volume and yield. As shown in the chart at right, WorldACD said air freight volume was up 3.3% y-o-y in April. As we pointed out in our analysis of April air freight traffic by carrier, the industry was still feeling some impact from the labor dispute at the US West Coast Ports. This was reflected in the WorldACD data, which showed that while total worldwide volume in April was down almost 6% from March (in line with the normal seasonal pattern), ex-Asia volume was flat month-to-month. Overall, however, if the WorldACD data accurately reflect worldwide trends, it appears that underlying demand growth has moderated somewhat from the latter half of 2014. It will be interesting to see what IATA has to say about air freight demand growth when it publishes its April data in the next few days.

Yield, on the other hand, plummeted more than 14% year-over-year. How bad is this? Well, according to WorldACD, not bad at all. Absent the impact of falling surcharges, yields (in US dollars) actually rose 1.4%, and since surcharges are (in theory, at least) a pass-through cost, the overall yield decline should have no negative bottom-line impact.

As mentioned above, WorldACD also offered some interesting information on the state of the forwarding industry through the first four months of 2015.

  • Of the top 20 forwarders in the first four months of 2014, 19 are still in the group in 2015.
  • The top-20 share of total forwarding revenue fell slightly, from 45.1% to 44.4%
  • Only six of the top 20 reported a revenue increase over the same period in 2014, and three of these are based in Japan.
  • Average yield for the top-20 group fell 12%, while average yield for the remainder of the world’s forwarders fell only 10%

Turning to General Sales Agents (GSAs), WorldACD said that the share of total air freight revenue generated by GSAs rose to more than 20%, and that GSAs “showed a higher than average volume growth coupled with less yield loss.”

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