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November 2016 Sees Strongest Air Cargo Growth Since 2009

Dutch market research firm WorldACD has released strong monthly results for late 2016, calling the most recent peak season the most robust since 2009. November U.S.-dollar yields improved by 3.9 percent over the previous month while volumes increased by 6.9 percent, year-over-year (y-o-y), WorldACD reported.

November 2016 Sees Strongest Air Cargo Growth Since 2009

Year-over-year growth in direct-tonne kilometers (DTKs) - which multiplies weight with the shortest distance between origin and destination of shipments - was slightly higher, at 7.1 percent, "indicating a smaller shift towards longer-haul traffic than in previous months."

David Harris of Cargofacts, says that WorldACD considers DTKs to be a “more accurate reflection of demand because it eliminates the inflationary effect on FTKs of routes with intermediate stops. That is, demand for iPhones in Europe is the same whether those phones fly from China to Europe directly, or with a stop in Dubai, but the route via Dubai is over 3,000 kilometers longer, and using DTKs instead of FTKs more accurately reflects this.”

Exports from China and Hong Kong saved the day with U.S.-dollar yields to North America up by 25 percent, and to Europe by 30 percent. “Air cargo has not seen such seasonal yield improvements since 2009,” analysts noted. “Volume increases since the summer were spectacular in markets from Hong Kong (up 30 percent) and Shanghai (up 17 percent), also higher than in previous years.”

WorldACD noted, however, that revenue growth was realized from a low basis.

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