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SME forwarders benefit from good November

The first indications published over the past weeks, pointed to good November results. The month indeed did not disappoint, though year-over-year (YoY) growth slowed compared to earlier months. The lower figure of 4.3 percent volume growth was influenced by the fact that, in 2013, November had shown a large jump over October.

Worldwide November-yields again topped those for October, this time by growing 1.7 percent (in USD). Yet, people predicting declining yields were also right: worldwide yield went down by 4.0 percent YoY. Interestingly, yield excluding surcharges dropped less, a sign that changing fuel surcharges may begin to have an influence.

The Transpacific market was the best of the large markets in November. Did the problems in the Western US ports play a role? Judge for yourselves: Air cargo revenues ex-USA dropped by nine percent month-over-month (MoM) across the Pacific... From Asia Pacific to North America, however, we recorded an impressive 17 percent growth in revenues MoM, thanks also to a 9.0 percent yield increase!

Next to Asia Pacific, Africa and Latin America did best with YoY volume growth of over 7.0 percent. Latin America crowned its achievement by keeping yields almost level. Europe suffered with revenues declining by more than 5.0 percent, both MoM and YoY, though YoY revenue and yield increased measured in Euros. Middle East & South Asia (MESA) further consolidated its second position in Pharma (after Europe), by showing a YoY revenue growth in this category of 17 percent, with slightly climbing yields. In the markets for perishables, Africa easily outperformed the other origin regions, registering a 15 percent revenue growth, where other regions combined registered growth of around 5.0 percent.

Smaller forwarders performed a bit better YoY than the world's largest. The top-5 DHL Global Forwarding, Kuehne + Nagel, DB Schenker, Expeditors and Panalpina, did not fare too well. On the other end of the range, Hellmann and Fashion Logistics did particularly well, whilst large Asian forwarders, especially Yusen, Sinotrans, Beijing Global Sky Horse and CTS Int'l had a ball thanks to the strong growth ex Asia Pacific.

A lot is said about smaller markets growing fast. How about growth in the largest markets? Our attention this month goes to India, together with China the fastest growing of the large markets: 13.5 percent outgoing volume growth since 2011, coupled with a dismal yield performance in USD (-20 percent). The yield change looked a lot better in INR: +6.0 percent. Comparable figures for China are +15.5 percent and -9.1 percent, and for worldwide +8 percent and -10 percent. Incoming volume slipped slightly, but incoming yields fell considerably less than the worldwide average.

The destinations United Kingdom, Germany and the UAE together take 25 percent of all traffic from India, whilst the origins Hong Kong, Germany and China are good for around 40 percent of all air cargo into India. The biggest growth sectors ex-India are Live Animals (+243 percent), Perishables (+83 percent) and Pharma (+67 percent). Perishables boosted its share of the total from 12 to 19 percent, whilst Pharma grew its share from 6.0 to 9.0 percent. Whereas the bulk of the pharmaceuticals goes to North America (Europe is second, Africa third), the best perishables and live animals destination is MESA. Incoming traffic shows similar growth figures for the three categories mentioned.

Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai count for 70 percent of India's outgoing cargo. The fastest growing cities in general are Hyderabad and Kochi. Bangalore and Hyderabad show the highest growth in pharmaceuticals. Airlines from the Middle East profit most from India's growth, followed by airlines from Europe. Asia Pacific based airlines are losing market share, particularly in the markets from India to Europe.

Last but not least: the forwarder scene, which shows great volatility. Among the large forwarders, growth figures of 40 percent and higher are just as normal as big declines in market share. Expeditors, Panalpina, GAC Logistics and Damco are growing fast, mostly at the expense of regional forwarders, but certainly also hurting a number of the world's largest.

- WorldACD provides air cargo market data based on airline sources covering all countries.

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