The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released data for global air freight markets showing that in August freight markets stabilised after two months of decline.
Measured in Freight Tonne Kilometres, air cargo volumes rose 0.2 per cent compared to the same month a year ago, the IATA said. This is a modest improvement on July's performance when freight demand contracted by 0.6 per cent year-over-year.
The results varied widely by region, the IATA said. Carriers in the Middle East reported the most significant growth (10.4 per cent) followed by African (2.3 per cent) and European airlines (0.7 per cent).
The most significant negative impact on the global performance was by Asia-Pacific based airlines (-1.0 per cent); and those in North America (-3.3 per cent) and Latin America (-7.3 per cent). All regions reported capacity expansions ahead of growth in demand.
Commenting on the data, IATA director general and CEO Tony Tyler said: "After declines in June and July, signs of a stabilisation in air cargo are welcome. But all is not well. Total volumes are down 2 per cent compared to the end of 2014. And some of the key reasons for the earlier weakness – for example, downgraded growth expectations in emerging Asia, and the rebalancing of the Chinese economy toward domestic consumption – are still there.
"Even though world trade volumes have slightly picked up, the industry will have to work hard to match the strong finish to 2014," he added.