The International Air Transport Association has released figures showing air freight markets weakened in March, and that the improvement in air cargo growth rates that began towards the end of 2012 has stalled.
Global Freight Tonne Kilometers were down 2.3 per cent in March compared to March 2012, with only the Middle East and Africa showing an expansion.
Asia-Pacific carriers are the largest players in air freight (together they comprise 38.5 per cent of the market).
With a 3.3 per cent fall compared to the previous year, this region showed the greatest weakness in terms of actual freight volumes.
The US and Europe, however had larger percentage falls (5.2 per cent and four per cent respectively), but on a smaller market share.
Global air freight volumes are now only 1.5 per cent above the October 2012 low point, down from the 3.5 per cent rise that had been reached in January.
“The March decline in air cargo is most likely a temporary stall. The fundamentals for a sustained improvement in air cargo volumes are in place.
“Business confidence continues to signal forthcoming expansion, and the solid increase in new export orders seen in 2013 should boost air freight in the coming months.
“Much of the current weakness is coming from Asia-Pacific airlines.
“While the region is economically strong, the economies of its trading partners are not.
“The Eurozone is showing renewed weakness and the negative impact of US budget cuts is yet to be fully measured,” said Tony Tyler, IATA director general.