News & Industry Affairs / IATA

November 2019 IATA Air Freight Market Analysis
Annual global freight volumes decline but pressures are easing


Highlights

  • Industry-wide freight tonne kilometres (FTKs) fell by 1.1% over the year to November, the 13th consecutive month of year-on-year decline. Seasonally adjusted (SA) volumes moved slightly higher this month butremained on the broadly sideways trend observed since the first quarter of 2019.
  • The larger European market was the main positive contributor to this month’s year-on-year growth improvement (+0.6ppts), followed by Africa (+0.3ppts). All the remaining regions contracted, with Asia Pacific the bulk of the industry-wide decline (-1.3ppts).
  • With air freight capacity continuing to outpace demand, the freight load factor eased by 2.0 percentage points over the past twelve months.

Growth accelerates in Africa…
International FTK volumes of airlines based in Africa rose by a swift 20.5% in November 2019 compared to the same period a year ago, the strongest outcome in more than two years. In consequence and despite a strong increase in freight capacity (AFTKs were up 14.9% y-o-y), the international load factor for the region lifted by 1.9ppts in November. As we have noted on previous occasions, most of the recent freight performance in Africa is driven by the Asia-Africa market and reflecting the strength of foreign investment into the region.


Easing downward pressure on air freight...

Industry-wide FTKs continued to decrease in November compared to the level of a year ago. At -1.1%, this was, however, the best year-on-year rate of change since March 2019 (-0.1%). Despite remaining negative, the modest improvement in the growth rate coincides with a seasonally busy month for air cargo, with the growing importance of large e-commerce sales events such as Singles’ Day and Black Friday.
    Seasonally adjusted (SA) FTKs lifted slightly for the third consecutive month in November. However, it is not strong enough to fundamentally change the broadly sideways trend observed since Q1 2019. Indeed, the annualized growth rate of the March-November period continues to hover around zero.

    As we noted before, most of the decline in global air freight volumes happened in Q4 2018 and early-2019, FTKs have stabilized since then. As a result, we could expect to record positive year-on-year growth rates again in the near future...Download the full document here. 

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