Global air freight traffic is expected to be negative in 2019. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), air cargo transport is expected to end 2019 down by more than 3%. In addition, freight capacity, measured in tonne-kilometres of available freight (AFTK), increased by 2% and exceeded demand growth for the 16th consecutive month.
Airlines’ freight capacities are still higher than the market. The air cargo market is being disrupted by current trade tensions and in particular by the conflicting relations between the United States and China.
Key figures for air freight traffic
After increases of 9.7% in 2017 and 3.4% in 2018, air cargo transport is expected to end fiscal 2019 down 3%. For IATA, this decline is due to the current trade tensions between the United States and China as well as the low level of international trade. According to IATA statistics, the volume of trade fell by 1.4% globally and by 14% between China and the United States.
For Alexandre de Juniac, IATA Director General, “the impact of the US-China trade war on air cargo volumes was more evident than ever in August […]. Higher tariffs are disrupting not only trans-Pacific supply chains, but also trade routes around the world.
Airlines in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East suffered the most significant declines in annual growth in air cargo volumes. Asia-Pacific carriers recorded a 5% decrease in air freight in August 2019, compared to August 2018. And those in the Middle East recorded a 6.7% decrease in demand in August 2019.
North American and European airlines saw more moderate declines (2.4% and 3.3% respectively in August 2019). Africa and Latin America recorded increases in demand compared to August 2018.
The top cargo companies in 2018
During 2018, the world ranking of cargo companies changed little. Fedex is still in first place but Qatar Airways is challenging Emirates to become the number two airline in the world.
- Federal Express: 17.5 billion tons/km (4% traffic growth in 2018).
- Emirates: 12.7 billion tons/km (stable growth in 2018).
- Qatar Airways: 12.7 billion tonnes/km (Traffic growth of 15.4% in 2018).
- United Parcel Service: 12.5 billion tons/km (traffic growth of 4.3% in 2018)
- Cathay Pacific Airways: 11.3 billion tons/km (5.2% traffic growth in 2018).
- Next come Korean Air (- 2.2% traffic in 2018), Lufthansa (+ 1% traffic in 2018) and Cargolux (+ 0.1% traffic in 2018).
Air freight transport with CERL
Air transport is an excellent guarantee of transit time. The regularity of flights makes it easy to plan delivery times. It also combines speed, reliability and security.
If your projects require aircraft chartering, the fares of airlines specialising in the supply of small, medium or large capacity cargo aircraft are close to the standard prices for scheduled air freight, with greater flexibility and security. Considering the cost of a project as a whole, air freight transport can be very competitive compared to sea freight. If you would like more information about our services, please do not hesitate to contact us.