Air freight demand was flat in November 2018 compared to November 2017 according to data from the International Air Transport Association.
November is the slowest rate of growth since March 2016, following 31 consecutive months of year-on-year increases.
Freight capacity growth continues to outstrip demand for the ninth month in a row, rising by 4.3 per cent year-on-year in November 2018.
While international e-commerce continues to grow, overall demand is halted by signs of weakness in global economic activity, including contraction in export order books in all major exporting nations, with the exception of the US, shorter supplier delivery times in Asia and Europe and weakened consumer confidence.
“Normally the fourth quarter is a peak season for air cargo. So essentially flat growth in November is a big disappointment,” said IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac. “While our outlook is for 3.7% demand growth in 2019, downside risks are mounting. Trade tensions are cause for great concern. We need governments to focus on enabling growth through trade, not barricading their borders through punitive tariffs.”