2JanJJa Worldwide air cargo revenues remain flat – yield developments since 2008

Worldwide air cargo developments in June did not differ much from those in May. Year-over-year (YoY) volume growth was slightly higher this time (+2.6% vs. 1.8%), overall yield (in USD) fell again by 2% MoM, yield excluding charges stood its ground, and Africa (+5%) and the Middle East & South Asia (MESA: +6.4%) were again among the best performing origins volume-wise.

What changed markedly was the performance of the origin Europe, with YoY volume growth of 5.9% (-1.2% in May). The origin Asia Pacific recorded a YoY volume growth of only 0.4% (+1.7% in May). Incoming air cargo increased most in the regions MESA (+9.8% YoY) and North America (+6.9% YoY).

Being at the year’s halfway point, how is 2015 shaping up?

Worldwide revenue (in USD) was down by 9.3% vs. H-1 2014. Among the largest 100 city pairs in our database, those outside the transpacific market virtually all suffered a considerable revenue loss YoY. Particularly the main O&D’s between Asia Pacific and Europe suffered heavily, with revenue losses varying between 13% and 47% of the previous year’s revenues, due more to yield deterioration than to volume loss.

Of the top-50 traffic streams outside the transpacific market, only three recorded a positive revenue development: Nairobi-Amsterdam, Chicago London and Mumbai-London. Of the absolute volume growth worldwide, 37.5% came from pharmaceuticals and perishable only. Top-20 Forwarders as a group grew less in volume than all other forwarders taken together, whilst half of their group suffered a yield deterioration larger than the worldwide average.

Looking at a somewhat longer period, we see that the demand driving air cargo volumes differs considerably from one product category to another. We noted the following trends between H-1 2012 and H-1 2015:

The growth in perishables was largest to MESA (+59%) and Asia Pacific (+35%). Perishables transport to Europe and North America lagged behind with growth figures of around 15% only. In pharmaceuticals, again Asia Pacific (+74%) and MESA (+66%) absorbed most of the growth. Looking at the total demand, the destinations MESA and North America both grew with 17%, whilst Europe (+3%) and Latin America (-7%) clearly lost appetite.

Last but not least, we compared yield developments since 2008. Our database contains the worldwide data of more than 50 – mostly large - airlines and more than 16,000 agents (and many more agent locations). Thus, our 12 interregional yield indices, as shown monthly on our website under the heading INDEX, provide a good insight how strongly yield developments (including fuel surcharges) differ from one market to another.

Here are some of the most striking differences between the various USD-yield developments between June 2008 and June 2015. It will not come as a surprise that none of the 12 interregional markets saw a yield increase…. The best performing market was North America to Asia Pacific, where the yield decrease could be limited to -9%. In all other markets, the decreases ranged from -22% (MESA to Europe) to -41% (Asia Pacific to Europe). For further figures on this, please go to www.worldacd.com.


WorldACD has the world's largest air cargo market database. For a large number of markets, WorldACD is the prime source of cargo market information. 

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