Air cargo volume growth stagnated in June for the first time in two years, according to the latest figures from analyst WorldACD.
According to the company, June saw air cargo grow by 0.4% in June, compared with a 3.7% increase over the the first half of the year.
Despite the decline in volume growth, yields continued to be “much higher than a year ago”.
“This year-to-date growth % has slowly but surely decreased for a number of months now,” WorldACD said.
“Our industry is clearly divided when it comes to the prospects for the second half of 2018. On the one hand, we read optimistic prognoses from some of the big forwarders, based mainly on what they see as a continuing capacity squeeze.
“On the other hand, people get worried about the (future) negative effects of the trade policies – real or only tweeted – of the unpredictable man in the White House.”
WorldACD did caution that results for the early summer may not be the best indicator for the rest of the year.
However, it noted that demand in the Asia Pacific region declined by 0.1%, while Africa, Europe and the Middle East also registered a fall in volumes.
The Americas bucked the trend and thanks to economic growth in the US and the recovery in South America.
“Exports by air from China to the US dipped considerably in June,” WorldACD said. “Although this market had been sub-par for the full first half year of 2018 already (-2.9% year on year), the June figure of -5.9% year on year could be indicative of a worsening climate between the two economic powerhouses.
“China to Europe was also negative in June (-2.9%), but US to Europe showed growth of 3.7%, well above the worldwide average, albeit much lower than in the earlier months of 2018 when it topped 8%. With a growth of 3%, US exports by air to China grew more than the overall air cargo ex US.”