My, doesn’t one year sometimes feel just like another? In the run up to Christmas 2017, five quarters after steady growth in volumes had set in, the air cargo industry was very pleased with the fact that yields were returning to double-digit growth rates and making business profitable again. The same can be said of the Chinese new year 2018, which took place later than usual this year, on 16 February.
Hong Kong airport, the global air cargo No. 1, can serve as the marker in this context. In January and February it handled 8.6% more goods than in comparison with the like-for-like period last year. If we add Nowruz, the Iranian new year celebrated on 20 March 2017, then airfreight throughput in the eleven months since then has risen by about 8% to 554,000 t.
Fortified by this and other good news, Iata held its annual World Cargo Symposium in mid-March, this time in Dallas TX (USA). Modernising procedures (digitalisation popping its head up there too) is one hot subject due for debate there, as are trade-facilitation measures, security issues and how to recruit the best young talents. The prospects are good that 2019’s meeting in Singapore will be able to look back on 4.5% year-on-year growth.
For now I’ll stick to wishing you a happy Easter!
Head of airfreight