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Air Cargo Demand Continues Upward Trajectory in February

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released demand growth results for global air freight markets for February 2017 showing an 8.4% increase in demand measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs) compared to the same period last year.

After adjusting for the impact of the leap year in 2016, demand increased by 12% — almost four times better than the five-year average rate of 3.0%.

Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs), shrank by 0.4% in February 2017.

The continued growth of air freight demand in 2017 is consistent with an uptick in world trade which corresponds with new global export orders remaining at elevated levels in March. Of particular note is the expanded volume of semi-conductor materials typically used in high-value consumer electronics.

“February further added to the cautious optimism building in air cargo markets. Demand grew by 12% in February—about four times the five-year average rate. With demand growing faster than capacity, yields got a boost. While there are signs of stronger world trade, concerns over the current protectionist rhetoric are still very real,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

The rapid growth of niche markets such as cross-border e-commerce and time and temperature sensitive pharmaceutical are showing robust growth as noted at the World Air Cargo Symposium held in Abu Dhabi last month.

“Any optimistic look at the future sees growing demand for specialized value added services. Shippers are telling us that the key to turning the current uptick in the cargo industry’s fortunes into longer-term growth is modernizing our antiquated processes. We must use the current momentum to push ahead with the elements of the e-cargo vision—including the e-air waybill which is nearing 50% market penetration,” said de Juniac.   

Regional Performance  
All regions, with the exception of Latin America, reported an increase in demand in February 2017.

Asia-Pacific airlines posted the largest year-on-year demand increase among regions in February 2017 with freight volumes growing 11.8% (more than 15% adjusting for the leap year).  Capacity increased by 2.0% over the same time.

The increase in demand is captured in the positive outlook from business surveys in the region and is reflected in the increase in trade across Asia-Pacific’s main freight lanes to, from, and within the region, which have strengthened considerably over the past six months.

Seasonally-adjusted volumes dipped slightly in February but remained up considerably since early 2016 and are now back to the levels reached in 2010 during the post-global financial crisis bounce-back.

North American airlines’ freight volumes expanded 5.8% (or more than 9% adjusting for the leap year) in February 2017 compared to the same period a year earlier, and capacity decreased by 3.1%.

This was driven in part by the strength of freight traffic to and from Asia which increased by 5.7% year-on-year in January. The further strengthening of the US dollar continues to boost the inbound freight market but is keeping the export market under pressure.

European airlines posted a 10.5% (or around 14% adjusting for the leap year) increase in freight volumes in February 2017 and a capacity increase of 1.4%. The ongoing weakness of the Euro continues to boost the performance of the European freight market which has benefitted from strong export orders, particularly in Germany, over the last few months.

Middle Eastern carriers’ year-on-year freight volumes increased 3.4% (or approximately 7% adjusting for the leap year) in February 2017 and capacity decreased 1.7%.

Seasonally adjusted freight volumes continue to trend upwards and demand remains strong between the Middle East and Europe.

Despite this, growth has eased from the double-digit rates which were the norm over the past ten years. This corresponds with a slowdown in network expansion by the region’s major carriers.

Latin American airlines experienced a contraction in demand of 4.9% (or around 1% adjusting for the leap year) in February 2017 compared to the same period in 2016 and a decrease in capacity of 7.2%.

Recovery in seasonally-adjusted volumes also stalled with demand 14% lower than at the peak in 2014. And freight volumes have now been in contractionary territory in 25 out of the last 27 months. The region’s carriers have managed to adjust capacity, which has limited the negative impact on the load factor. Latin America continues to be blighted by weak economic and political conditions.

African carriers’ saw freight demand increase by 10.6% (or more than 14% adjusting for the leap year) in February 2017 compared to the same month last year and capacity increase by 1.0%.

Year-to-date demand has increased by 16.2%, helped by very strong growth on the trade lanes to and from Asia.

The increase in demand has helped the region’s seasonally-adjusted load factor rise by 2.8 percentage points so far in 2017.

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Logistics

FG to Partner Boeing to Launch National Carrier

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Sen. Hadi Sirika, Minister of State for Aviation, has said that the Federal Government is set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Boeing on the establishment of a national carrier for Nigeria.

Sirika, in his tweet on his handle,@hadisirika on Thursday, said the MoU would be signed during the forthcoming Third ICAO World Aviation Forum (IWAF) in Abuja.

The minister also disclosed that Airbus of France had indicated interest in partnering with the government on the proposed carrier and establishment of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul facility in the country.

He said that the government and Airbus would also discuss further during the IWAF 3 that would hold from Nov. 20 to Nov. 22.

“Airbus signified interest in our National Carrier and our MRO, we will discuss further during the upcoming ICAO forum,’’ he said.

It would be recalled that the minister had expressed President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration determination to establish a national carrier and MRO in a bid to reposition the nation’s aviation sector.

He had since announced the appointment of transaction advisers for the national carrier and MRO.

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NIPOST at Retreat, Rejigs to Remain Afloat

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Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) is repositioning the post office as a critical national infrastructure to utilize its extensive network penetration for social and financial growth, Bisi Adegbuyi, postmaster general of the Federation has said.

 

Adegbuyi at the NIPOST zonal strategic management retreat in Kaduna, said that the retrest, will help determine the true position of NIPOST strategic milestones in the journey towards actualization of the set objective.

 

He said, “The retreat will provide us with the opportunity to x-ray our position as we analyze our performance so far against set objectives with a view to taking remedial measures in the area of sharp deviations and as well re-invest a new wheel where necessary in our march to the promise land.

 

“In the last five months of uninterrupted strategy implementation, a lot has happened, the corporate restructuring is taking shape, the business units are reshaping their products, the zones are now on ground supported by their districts while the Chief Operating Officer has taken full control of the operations for efficiency.

 

He observed that the greatest challenge to the relevance of NIPOST is in the area of product offering adding that, “For a long time NIPOST has remained a mono-product organization focusing mainly on mail and even that too is challenging.”

 

Malam Abdulrahim Baba, director, Strategy and Business Development, said the post office can help farmers and small businesses scale up their production by repackaging their products so that they can acquire market instead of letting their products rot away.

 

He added, “NIPOST will put internet facilities and computers in our rural post offices so that the children living in the rural areas can learn how to use the computer and the internet because presently, the computer and internet is used in all sectors.”

 

He informed that the NIPOST presently has seven different business from the one that was available in the past adding that, “We have cut down from 36 territories to seven zones to conserve resources and provide good services to our customers in a bid to create a new playing field.”

 

Malam Nasir El-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, represented by Engineer Mahmud Hassan, commissioner, Kaduna state Ministry of Works and Transport, urged participants to live up to expectation and the sky is their limit.

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Taxify Set to Launch Services in Abuja

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By peter oluka

Taxify, the fastest-growing ride-sharing platform in Europe and Africa, launches in Abuja with hundreds of driver-partners signed up to the platform and ready to accept rides all across the city.

To celebrate, Taxify is offering a 40% discount to riders during the month of November.

Uche Okafor, the operations manager, comments:  “Abuja is an exciting and thriving market with an outgoing population for private urban transport. We’re very excited to launch here and have a solid team on ground.

“We are confident that Taxify can effectively contribute to healthy competition by improving the quality of service and lowering the prices for the end customer.”

Taxify takes only 15% commission from its drivers, compared to the 25% that competitors take.

The lower commission allows Taxify to offer lower prices for riders and ensure that drivers still keep more money in their pockets.

Taxify treats our drivers better so that they can in turn treat our riders better. Taxify does this by ensuring that drivers are able to earn more driving on our platform than on any other platform.

This combined with our end to end support ensures that our drivers are happier driving on Taxify and are ultimately able to provide better quality service for riders. Taxify also believes in providing exemplary customer service to riders, with a local customer support team that offers real time over the phone support.

Taxify is an international urban ride-sharing platform founded and headquartered in Tallinn, Estonia.

Taxify is operating in 20 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Central America. Taxify has a global team of over 300 employees, and is considered one of the fastest-growing ride-sharing platforms in Europe and Africa.

In August 2017, Taxify announced a strategic partnership with Didi Chuxing, the world’s leading mobile transportation platform. The Taxify app is available on iOS and Android.

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