Inside Logistics

Air freight volumes recover, ITF reports

February 10, 2015

PARIS, Fra.–The latest update of global freight data collected by the International Transport Forum at the OECD through November 2014 shows that: air freight volumes in tonnes of goods moved, considered as a lead indicator, have recovered above pre-crisis peak in the United States and EU-28.

Air freight, considered a lead indicator for overall economic performance, indicates a potential improvement of the near-term outlook both for the EU-28 and the United States. Total external trade by air, in tonnes of good transported, recovers to 2% above pre-crisis peak for the first time since the second quarter of 2012, according to ITF’s seasonally adjusted preliminary data.Total external trade by sea has grown both in the EU-28 and the United States, recovering to pre-crisis levels (-1%) in the former, measured in tonnes of good carried. Exports and imports continue to display diverging trends. Total exports transported by sea reach 28% and 22% above pre-crisis peak in the EU-28 and the United States respectively while imports stagnate below pre-crisis levels (EU -9%; USA -26%).

Exports to BRICS and Asia have been the locomotive of European and North American growth since the crisis of 2008. Exports by sea from the EU-28 to BRICS and Asia remain at their above pre-crisis levels (43% and 42% above pre-crisis peak). USA exports to BRICS shows also growth, reaching 69% above pre-crisis levels.

The relatively strong performance of the US economy is reflected in the road and rail freight with Mexico and Canada, measured in value, as it continues to grow strongly since the recovery started in 2010. Growth in trade with Mexico may also be affected by “nearshoring” of economic activities. Freight transported by road and rail in the EU remain below pre-crisis levels, if measured in tonne-kilkometres of goods moved, reflecting continuous weak domestic demand, the report said.