International Freight Forwarder Association

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Air freight market declines in May

Friday, July 1, 2011

Air freight markets showed a 4.0% decline in May. This is skewed as a result of the May 2010 peak for of the post-recession restocking cycle. Since the beginning of the year, freight volumes have increased by a modest 2.0%. This is lower than the 5.5% IATA forecast for 2011.

While the continued expansion of world trade at around 6% annually could lend support to accelerated freight growth in the second half of 2011, the performance so far this year has been lower than expected.  Carriers in all regions except Latin America (up 1.5%) and the Middle East (+8.1%) saw air freight declines compared to May 2010.

The largest fall was for Asia-Pacific carriers with a 9.2% drop showing the impact of disrupted supply chains in Japan and tighter economic policies in China. Declines by African carriers (down 7.8%) reflected the disruption in Egypt and Tunisia. European and North American carriers had modest falls of 2.2% and 1.4% respectively. 

International freight traffic market shares by region in terms of FTK (Freight Tonne Kilometers) are: Asia-Pacific -42.1%, Europe 25.6%, North America 16.7%, Middle East 11.4%, Latin America 3.1%, Africa 1.2%.

Source:  International Air Transport Association (IATA)