For the first time in the 13 years Colography Group has tracked international shipping rates, ocean shipping will grow faster than air shipping in 2003, the research firm predicts.
Ocean freight is by far the dominant mode in international shipping, accounting for about 99 percent of all tonnage. But a far higher percentage of freight by value moves by air—about 39 percent, based on Colography Group projections.
The firm expects worldwide airfreight shipments will climb by about 2 percent this year. Global ocean shipping will grow by about 4.9 percent, according to the projections.
Total international shipping will amount to about 11 trillion pounds, says the forecast, with 10.98 trillion pounds moving by ocean and the balance, about 52 billion pounds,moving in the air. The firm projects that the value of all goods shipped internationally in 2003 will reach US$5.9 trillion, a 4.3-percent increase from 2002 levels. Of that, US$2.3 trillion will move by air, a 4.4-percent gain from 2002 levels, and US$3.6 trillion will move via sea, a 4.3-percent increase. The Colography study measures goods moving only in international commerce and excludes domestic services.
The slower aircargo growth reflects the continued slump among businesses that make the greatest use of air, such as those producing semiconductors, electronics and telecommunications equipment, says Ted Scherck, president of the Colography Group. He adds that the decline in the size and weight of the average air shipment could contribute to the slowing of air cargo's tonnage growth. That's reflected in the finding that revenue growth is outpacing tonnage growth for air-cargo carriers.
Among the many findings in the Colography Group's report, Global Cargo Market Projections for 2003: