As this blog mentioned at the end of last month, the air cargo industry is facing some difficult challenges as a result of weaker-than-expected performance in key regions around the world.
According to an article on Air Cargo World, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) worries that increases in demand will not be enough to create a significant uptick in market performance.
Compared to last year, air freight demand was up 3.6 percent in August, the report found. The strongest growth came out of the Middle East, where freight volumes increased by nearly 24 percent. However, the report was careful to note that these numbers are likely inflated by the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, which fell earlier than usual in 2013.
The IATA, meanwhile, is more concerned with growth in the Asia-Pacific region, which was effectively flat in August.
"There are some signs of improvement in demand, but the airfreight business remains very tough," Tony Tyler, IATA's director general and CEO, told Air Cargo World. "Freight volumes are only now reaching the levels of 2011 when the cargo business peaked with revenues of US$67 billion. This year, we expect US$59 billion of revenues from air cargo globally. That takes the top line back to 2007 levels. But to earn that revenue, we will be moving nearly 17 percent more cargo and dealing with a 40-percent hike in jet fuel. The road ahead will be challenging."