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Air freight volumes have declined year-on-year for the ninth consecutive month, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Volume, measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs), contracted by 3.2% in July compared to the same month the previous year. Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTKs), rose 2.6%, making it also the ninth month of overcapacity.

IATA attributes the decline to weak global trade, which is 1.4% lower than a year ago, and the trade war between the US and China. Trade between the two countries has fallen 14% year-on-year.

Ninth consecutive month of year-on-year decline in air freight volumes
Credit: Nils Nedel

For the first time in ten years, all major trading nations reported falling manufacturing export orders.

Africa and Latin America, which hold the smallest shares in world trade, saw a year-on-year rise in volume of 10.9% and 3.0% respectively. North America and Europe, which each account for almost a quarter of all volume, saw drops of around 2%. Volume fell 4.9% in Asia Pacific, which has the largest share at 35.4%, and 5.5% in the Middle East.

“Trade tensions are weighing heavily on the entire cargo industry,” said Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO of IATA. “Higher tariffs are disrupting not only transpacific supply chains but also worldwide trade lanes.

“While current tensions might yield short-term political gains, they could lead to long-term negative changes for consumers and the global economy. Trade generates prosperity. It is critical that the US and China work quickly to resolve their differences.”

Source: IATA

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