Air Freight stats vs. Freight Forwarding predictions

By Freddie Pierce
Like its planes, it seems the air freight business is going up and down these days. One report out of the Handy Shipping Guide reported today that the...

Like its planes, it seems the air freight business is going up and down these days.

One report out of the Handy Shipping Guide reported today that the International Air Transport Association is reporting that the air freight industry expanded with an expected annual growth rate of approximately 10 percent.

While February saw a slight dip in air freight growth of 1.8 percent, IATA translates that statistic as having to do with the Japan disasters. Freight forwarding rebounded well in the month of March, up 6.1 percent in Europe and 7.1 percent in North America.

But a report out of IFW suggested that European freight forwarders can expect a decrease in both May and June.

According to the IFW report, freight forwarders’ expectations for May and June decreased for the first time in 2011. The slide started in March, where the Danske Bank European Freight Forwarding Index slid to 64.

The freight forwarding index rebounded to 67 in April, down from the expected level of 71, and both May and June expectations were scaled back as a result of the earlier dip.


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While the two reports contradict each other, it should be noted that the first report is strictly air freight, while the second report comes from freight forwarders. While the two industries are related, they aren’t necessarily completely dependent on one another.

The conclusions to derive from each are pretty simple. The IATA report included actual air freight numbers to support its case, while the IFW freight forwarding piece was simply a confidence level of top European freight forwarders. We’ll put in our trust in the numbers, for now.


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