Demand for air freight grow by 3.5 per cent last year while capacity rose by 5.4 per cent, according to the International Air Transport Association.
It said there was a softening of several key demand drivers:
* The restocking cycle, during which businesses rapidly built up inventories to meet demand, ended in early 2018;
* Global economic activity weakened;
* The export order books of all major exporting nations, with the exception of the US, contracted in the second half of 2018;
* Consumer confidence weakened compared to very high levels at the beginning of 2018.
“Air cargo demand lost momentum towards the end of 2018 in the face of weakening global trade, sagging consumer confidence and geopolitical headwinds,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.
“To attract demand in new market segments, the air cargo industry must improve its value proposition. Enabling modern processes with digitalization will help build a stronger foothold in e-commerce and the transport of time- and temperature-sensitive goods such as pharmaceuticals and perishables,” he said.