Air cargo demand remains strong

After adjusting for seasonality, the improvement in demand was faster month-to-month in July than it was in June.

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced international scheduled traffic statistics for July which showed continued strengthening of demand for cargo traffic. Compared to July 2009, international scheduled freight traffic showed a 22.7 percent improvement.

These year-on-year comparisons for July were less than the June growth data showing 26.6 percent increases for cargo traffic. The apparent slowdown was entirely due to the fact that by July 2009 traffic was already starting to recover. After adjusting for seasonality, the improvement in demand was faster month-to-month in July than it was in June.

It is clear that the recovery has entered a slower phase. During the second half of 2009, demand was rebounding at an annualized rate of 28 percent for cargo. In the year to July, the annualized growth rates had dropped to17 percent for air freight.  However, this is still considerably above the industry’s traditional 6 percent growth trend.

“The recovery in demand has been faster than anticipated. But, as we look towards the end of the year, the pace of the recovery will likely slow,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO. “The jobless economic recovery is keeping consumer confidence fragile, particularly in North America and Europe. This is affecting leisure markets and cargo traffic. Following the boost of cargo demand from inventory re-stocking, further growth will be largely determined by consumer spending which remains weak.”

About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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