Air cargo since 2009: Europe rebounds strongest

 May 2013 was not a good month for air cargo. Compared with May 2012, worldwide chargeable weight fell by 0.7%, but the far more serious development was the yield drop: -6.5% in EUR, -5.1% in USD and -7.8% in CNY. The development of yields excluding charges was only slightly less dramatic: -6.0%, -4.6% and -7.3% respectively. One small consolation: for 19 of the 100 largest city pairs, yields improved.

Looking at the very short term, i.e. comparing May 2013 with April 2013, the best performing region was clearly the USA Pacific States, with volume increases of over 50% to Hong Kong and the UK, and almost 40% to Japan. The region showed a slight increase in inbound volumes, with North America as the most important contributor (+9%). Italy continued its strong showing: volumes to such diverse destinations as Japan, USA, Hong Kong and the UAE were all well over 20%. The market from Germany to China East remained the largest market reported by WorldACD, though it fell by 7.4%.

Year-to-Date figures (Jan-May 2013 against the same period in 2012) also make for some interesting reading. Although worldwide volumes were rather flat (they fell by -0.4%), zooming in on specific regions and countries we find some noteworthy details. China continues its trend as a growing destination (+4.7% against -1.6% for outbound volumes). The Turkish market seems very robust in general: not only an outbound growth of more than 10% (even above 13% to North America and MESA), but an inbound growth of more than 12% as well. With yields worldwide contracting, the Asia Pacific region is hit hardest, its yields showing negative growth to all destination regions.

Lastly, a somewhat longer view. The early months of 2010 showed the first signs of a return to normalcy after the terrible events of 2009. How do markets in Jan-May 2013 compare to that period? Europe rebounded strongest, with volume growth for its sub-regions varying between 12 and 45%. China also grew, albeit modestly (4%). Whilst South Asia and parts of Africa did well, North East Asia could not keep up (-11.6%).  And one more trend to end with: yields (in EUR) for general cargo grew by a modest 3%. Specified products fared a lot better with a yield increase of almost 12%.