Global airfreight volumes showed weak growth in September, rising 2 percent compared to the year-ago period, according to data released this week from The International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The increase was relatively unchanged from August, but was less than half the five-year average growth rate of 5.1 percent, IATA reported. Freight capacity grew by 3.2 percent during the month, marking the seventh straight month that capacity outstripped demand, the group also said.
IATA said strong consumer confidence, a robust global investment environment and the expansion of international ecommerce fueled growth in September, but that key demand drivers continue to weigh down the air cargo sector—specifically, a decline in global exports and longer supplier delivery times in Asia and Europe. Export order books contracted in all the world's major exporting nations in September except the United States, IATA said.
"Weakening order books and longer delivery times are undercutting the need for air freight in many traditional markets," Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's director general and CEO said in a statement announcing the monthly findings. "But there is also some positive news. For example, strong consumer confidence goes hand-in-hand with expanding international e-commerce trade to give air cargo a boost."
Regionally, demand grew everywhere except Africa, with Middle Eastern airlines leading the way at 6.6 percent demand growth during the month, IATA said. Latin American airlines showed the second-highest demand growth, at 2.9 percent, followed by European and North American carriers, at 1.5 percent demand growth each. Asia-Pacific airlines saw demand for air freight grow by 1.2 percent, the group said.
IATA represents nearly 300 airlines comprising 82 percent of global air traffic.