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IATA describes global freight slowdown

07 February 2019

Full-year data released by the International Air Transport Authority (IATA) on 6 February shows that air cargo demand grew by just 3.5% in 2018, compared with 9.7% in 2017.

Air cargo volume worldwide (measured in freight tonne kilometres – FTKs) benefited from stronger e-commerce demand, but this was offset by weaker global economic activity, contracting order books in all major exporting nations bar the United States, and weaker consumer confidence.

Freight capacity outstripped FTK growth, rising by 5.4% in 2018.

All regions apart from Africa reported higher demand in 2018 (see table), but the economically important Asia-Pacific region grew by just 1.7% as exports slowed from China, Japan, and South Korea.

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