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Australia's inbound air cargo volume up 7pc to 1.17m tonnes

LATEST government statistics in Australia show that the nation is experiencing growth in inbound international air cargo with freight volumes from overseas airports to airports in Australia increasing 7

Australia's inbound air cargo volume up 7pc to 1.17m tonnes

LATEST government statistics in Australia show that the nation is experiencing growth in inbound international air cargo with freight volumes from overseas airports to airports in Australia increasing 7

14 February 2019 - 19:00

LATEST government statistics in Australia show that the nation is experiencing growth in inbound international air cargo with freight volumes from overseas airports to airports in Australia increasing 7.3 per cent in the year ended November 2018 to stand at 1.17 million tonnes.

The federal government's Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) figures show that the greatest volume of freight uplifted and discharged from overseas to Australia took place on the Singapore-Melbourne route. In the year ended November 2018, which is the latest month for which data is available, 72,371 tonnes of freight were loaded on that route.



The Singapore-Melbourne route accounts for 6.2 per cent of the total freight volumes of 1.27 million tonnes between all city pairs as recorded by the BITRE. Although the Singapore-Melbourne route accounted for the single largest amount of cargo, it actually experienced a marginal decline of about minus 0.2 per cent in the volume shifted compared to the year ended November 2017.



The next biggest cargo route by volume of freight was Singapore-Sydney, which recorded 67,430 tonnes, representing 5.7 per cent of the total and which was also down, this time by minus 1.5 per cent, reports New York's FreightWave.



Auckland (the capital city of New Zealand) to Sydney was the third largest volume of aviation freight into Australia, up 2.5 per cent on the prior corresponding period to stand at 54,247 tonnes in the year ended November 2018.



Other points of note in the dataset were that volumes on the Auckland-Melbourne route were greatly down by minus 14.2 per cent to stand at 27,195 tonnes in the 12 months to the end of November 2018.



However, that fall was more than offset by large increases on other routes. Dubai-Sydney recorded a 13.0 per cent increase in the 12 months to the end of November 2018 to stand at 28,638 tonnes. Hong Kong-Sydney saw a 6.8 per cent increase to stand at 53,122 tonnes in the year ended November 2018.



Executives were at a loss to explain the reasons for growth in volumes.



'Volumes are up but they are catching up to previous seasons; so I don't think that there's any specific reason,' one industry observer says.



BITRE reports that, in the month of November 2018, the total volume of air freight (both inbound to, and outbound from) Australia fell by minus 0.3 per cent to stand at 107,183 tonnes. The fall in the overall November 2018 volumes was probably located in the inbound traffic volumes that fell by 5.9 per cent. That fall in inbound volumes was offset by a 5.6 per cent increase in outbound traffic volumes.



IATA noted that, on a global basis for the month of November 2018, that air freight demand was flat compared to November 2017.



'Normally the fourth quarter is a peak season for air cargo. So essentially flat growth in November is a big disappointment. While our outlook is for 3.7 per cent demand growth in 2019, downside risks are mounting. Trade tensions are cause for great concern. We need governments to focus on enabling growth through trade, not barricading their borders through punitive tariffs,' said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's Director General and CEO.


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