Cargo Trouble

Soaring fuel prices are squeezing international trade, with global cargo growth – a leading economic indicator of business – slowing over previous years. Soaring fuel prices are squeezing international trade, with global cargo growth – a leading economic indicator of business – slowing over previous years.

Traffic results for the first half of this year show strong 8.8 percent passenger growth in the first half of this year, but just 3.4 percent freight growth over the same period.

“The story for the first half of the year is cargo. Compared to 13.2 percent growth for the first half of 2004, the 3.4 percent freight growth for the same period in 2005 indicates that extra-ordinary fuel prices are softening international trade,” said Giovanni Bisignani, Director General of the International Air Traffic Association (IATA) said.

About 40 percent of the value of goods traded internationally is transported as air cargo, experiencing negative growth in both February and May this year.

India-Sri Lanka is forecasted to be among the top five fastest growing freight markets over 2004 to 2008, with cargo volumes tipped to grow 21.7 percent each year.