According to a recent release by The International Air Transport Association (IATA) demand for air cargo continues to face significant headwinds. Global economic activity and consumer confidence have weakened and the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for manufacturing and export orders has indicated falling global export orders since September 2018.

Only two of six regions reported year-on-year demand growth in January 2019 – North America and Africa. Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East all contracted, while Latin America was flat.

Asia-Pacific airlines saw demand for air freight shrink by 3.6% in January 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. Weaker manufacturing conditions for exporters in the region, ongoing trade tensions and a slowing of the Chinese economy impacted the market. Capacity increased by 4.1%.

North American airlines posted the fastest growth of any region for the eighth consecutive month in January 2019, with an increase in demand of 3.3% compared to the same period a year earlier. Capacity increased by 5.0%. The strength of the US economy and consumer spending have helped support the demand for air cargo over the past year, benefiting US carriers.

European airlines experienced a contraction in freight demand of 3.1% in January 2019 compared to a year ago. Capacity increased by 2.8% year-on-year. Weaker manufacturing conditions for exporters, and shorter supplier delivery times particularly in Germany, one of Europe’s key export markets, impacted demand. Trade tensions and uncertainty over Brexit also contributed to a weakening in demand.

Middle Eastern airlines freight volumes contracted 4.5% in January 2019 compared to the year-ago period. Capacity increased by 4.1%. Seasonally-adjusted international air cargo demand, which trended upwards for the past three months helped by stronger trade to/from Europe and Asia, has started to decline.

Latin American airlines freight demand was flat (0.0%) in January 2019 versus last year. Despite the economic uncertainty in the region, a number of key markets are performing strongly. Freight traffic within South America and between Central and South America grw at a double-digit rate in January. And demand on routes between North and South America also performed well. Capacity decreased by 0.7%.

African carriers saw freight demand increase by 1.0% in January 2019, compared to the same month in 2018. Capacity grew 8.2% year-on-year. Seasonally-adjusted air cargo demand has now trended upwards for six months. And while seasonally-adjusted international freight volumes are lower than their peak in mid-2017, they are still 35% higher than their most recent trough in late-2015.

Source: IATA Airfreight Market Analysis January 2019

Bristol Port, one of the UK’s Major Ports, has revealed that they are Brexit ready in a new information sheet that explains why they are optimistic about the future in these uncertain times.

Chief Executive Officer, David Brown, reported:

“65% of the cargo that Bristol Port deals with is non-EU. We remain confident that our systems and operations will continue to function smoothly and efficiently once we leave the EU and whether there is a deal or not. Bristol Port does not deal with food for people nor with accompanied roll-on roll-off trailers. We have had excellent dialogue with the relevant Government Departments and we expect any additional administrative burden to be kept to a minimum. And the one thing that Brexit cannot change is our geography and we strongly believe our west coast gateway will enable us to thrive and flourish in the post Brexit trading climate.”

As a global gateway, Bristol Port adds £1 billion to the British economy every year. The Port handles an eclectic range of cargos with multiple and frequent global connections. With a deep-water depth of 14.5m accommodating vessels up to 130,000 tonnes dwt, the Port has the natural capabilities to handle some of the largest ships in the world. Bristol Port has invested more than £500 million of private finance into the Port since 1991. Recent investments have included a £7m container terminal update, the purchase of 2 new RTGs (rubber-tyred gantry cranes) and the purchase of additional land to meet customer requirements for storage.

Bristol Port is ready to continue trading as a global gateway, whatever the Brexit outcome.

Did you know we have an office based at the Bristol Port. Our team can provide a range of freight forwarding services to meet your requirements. For more information please send your enquiry to sales@uk.ligentia.com