Air freight, a key measure of trade, sees biggest drop since 2015

Air freight has been weakening since mid-2018 due to “protectionist measures and trade tensions,” according to the International Air Transport Association director general and CEO.

And in Feb., the IATA said the measure of global trade saw its biggest dip in Nov. 2015 — negative 1.8%.

Read more:UPS CEO David Abney reveals why the logistics giant hasn’t pushed into one of delivery’s fastest-growing sectors

Air freight moves $6 trillion of goods globally each year, which is more than a third of world trade by value. Often, high-value, low-density goods like vaccines, computer chips, and diamonds are moved by air. Moving goods by ocean freight is considerably cheaper and is better for moving lower-priority, heavier goods.

The measure of freight ton-kilometers (one metric ton of revenue carried one kilometer) sank by 1.8% globally. It dipped the most in the Middle East (-4.5%), Asia Pacific (-3.6%), and Europe (-3.1%). North America saw a boost of 3.3%.

But analysts aren’t sounding the alarm bell quite yet. Kevin Sterling, managing director of Seaport Global Securities, said an early Lunar New Year, which usually shuts down manufacturing in China for two weeks and slows down commerce around Asia Pacific, is part of the reason trade numbers sank so much in Feb.

There was also quite a bit of freight activity in Dec. and Jan. as retailers and manufacturers tried to move goods in from China to the US ahead of tariffs.

Christopher N. Stathoulopoulos, senior equity research analyst at Susquehanna International Group, expressed a similar sentiment in a research note following the IATA numbers.

“With the first few months of the year a tough read for underlying demand (timing of the Chinese New Year and ongoing US-China trade dispute), we continue to look at seasonality for signs of a ‘meaningful’ negative inflection,” he wrote.

In other words — keep waiting and watching.

“If March is down — oh my, we’re in trouble,” Sterling told Business Insider. “That’s a signal that the rest of the year is probably going to be bad.”

Source

more recommended stories

  • Tesla cuts prices of Model S, Model X as stock slumps

    Faced with a slumping stock price.

  • Michael Cohen implicates Sekulow, Giuliani, Trump Jr. in House testimony

    Michael Cohen has long been considered.

  • ‘Game of Thrones’ Isaac Hempstead Wright defends finale, Bran’s story line

    “Game of Thrones” star Isaac Hempstead.

  • Trump speaks out against parts of extreme anti-abortion laws

    President Donald Trump has distanced himself.

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Wonder Woman comic cover upsets DC Comics

    She’s a 29 year-old congresswoman who.

  • Google suspended some business with Huawei after Trump blacklist

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s.

  • OnePlus 6T review: Why it’s better than expensive flagship phones

    The OnePlus 6T runs on the.

  • Tony Robbins recorded telling woman she was ‘lying’ about abuse

    According to an investigation from BuzzFeed.

  • Adidas is releasing another pair of ‘Game of Thrones’ sneakers

    Following up on their hit UltraBOOST.

  • How to make people like you immediately

    According to the “mere-exposure effect,” people.

  • Fifth grader who told classmates to stop doing the Nazi salute was pulled out of class

    An elementary school in Tennessee will.

  • Scientists develop light-activated bio-glue that could seal fatal wounds in seconds

    A new ‘biological glue’ developed by.

  • Joshua Jones speaks out after helping disarm STEM School Highlands Ranch shooter

    One of three students who helped.

  • Helicopter crashes into New York’s Hudson River

    A helicopter has crashed into the.

  • Apple’s Supreme Court loss could harm its App Store business

    Thanks to the Supreme Court, Apple.

  • How to allow pop-ups in Google Chrome from all sites or specific ones

    Pop-ups can be the scourge of.

  • Uber’s CEO sent an email to employees addressing its disastrous IPO, drawing on Amazon’s and Facebook’s rough starts (UBER)

    Getty/Spencer Platt Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.

  • Watch Winnie the Pooh meet the royal family in a new video

    Disney is celebrating the birth of.

  • Times celebrities got accused of lip syncing

    One of the most legendary instances.

  • Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is part of a family of impressive techies

    Led by CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, ride-sharing.

  • All the food Miss USA typically eats in a day

    On May 2, Cheslie Kryst was.

  • Where do billionaires live? Top 15 cities for billionaires worldwide

    Billionaires are increasingly becoming concentrated in.

  • House Democrats overplayed their hand to get the full Mueller report

    The war between the White House.

  • How to use Google Maps offline

    Where would we be without Google.

  • Anna Delvey: Fake heiress sentenced to prison for up to 12 years

    Socialite scammer Anna Delvey was sentenced.

  • Here’s everything the US military is sending to take on Iran

    The US military is sending a.

  • Advertising and Media Insider newsletter May 8

    The Amazon office in New York..

  • Trump’s tax info show his businesses lost so much money over a decade

    President Donald Trump’s tax information covering.

  • Bloody Israel-Gaza attacks signal a violent resurgence

    Deadly violence between Israel and Gaza.

  • Trump threatens 25% tariff, escalate China trade war

    President Donald Trump on Sunday threatened.

  • Plane makes emergency landing at Moscow airport, busts into flames

    41 people were killed after an.

  • Brunei says it 'will not enforce gay death penalty after global backlash'

    Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah has said.