Confirming a slew of positive second-quarter results from 3PL and express companies, the latest June numbers from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) show a 4.3 percent year-over-year rise in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs) – the fastest pace of y-o-y growth in 14 months. However, available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs) increased by 4.9 percent over the same time period, exerting downward pressure on yields.
FTKs showed growth in June in every major region except Latin America, where FTKs were down by 9.8 percent, reflecting a years-long regional downturn and more recent softening demand from China.
The Middle East and Europe posted the fastest demand growth, with y-o-y FTK increases of 8.0 percent and 5.1 percent, respectively. Fraport, which operates Frankfurt Airport and several others, cited strong demand for German goods for their positive air cargo numbers. IATA concurred, noting that, “European performance corresponds with signs of an increase in export orders in Germany over the last few months.” European airlines saw freight volumes rise 5.1 percent, as well as a 4.9 percent capacity increase in June 2016.
Middle Eastern carriers posted June’s largest y-o-y gains in freight volumes at 8.0 percent. Capacity again outpaced growth, at 8.7 percent, y-o-y. IATA noted that, while the Middle East remains the growth-leader, its 6.6 percent international freight growth rate for the first six months of 2016 is far below the 14.3 percent average growth for the same period in 2015.
In the Asia-Pacific region, carriers posted a 3.5 percent increase in demand for air cargo in June, compared to the previous June. Capacity also expanded 3.6 percent. “The Asia-Pacific airfreight market has been improving in recent months, most notably the large ‘within Asia’ market,” the organization noted. That said, IATA concluded that, “Nonetheless, freight volumes from ‘emerging Asia’ continue to face headwinds from weak trade in the region and globally.”
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