Last month, global freight demand rose 3.6 percent compared to the same period in 2012, according to the International Air Transport Association.
So far this year, though, air freight demand has only ticked up 0.7 percent, year over year.
IATA started measuring a swelling in cargo demand in April, when the economies in Europe and the United States started improving. Cargo performance in Asia, however, has kept global activity from larger growth.
In August, European and Middle Eastern carriers fueled the activity increase, with airlines in Europe seeing demand tick up 3.4 percent on a 4.2 percent capacity increase. Middle Eastern cargo demand rose 23.8 percent year over year, a number exaggerated by Ramadan’s impact on activity; year-to-date, cargo activity in the area has grown 12.7 percent.
In North America, August cargo numbers showed a 0.7 percent increase from a year ago. On the year, cargo is down 1.2 percent.
“There are some signs of improvement in demand, but the air freight business remains very tough,” IATA’s Tony Tyler said in a statement. “Freight volumes are only now reaching the levels of 2011 when the cargo business peaked with revenues of $67 billion.”