In September, global freight ton-kilometers rose by 0.5 percent, year over year, following a 3.4 percent rise in August, according to the International Air Transport Association.
Even with this worldwide slowdown in cargo activity, volumes are still showing increases and are on a 25-month high, the agency said.
"The story behind September’s performance is regional," IATA Director General Tony Tyler said in a statement. “At a global level, the September results are aligned with our expectations for an improvement towards the end of the year. All indicators still point to strengthening business confidence as we approach the final quarter."
Regionally, North American airlines saw a 0.9-percent increase in cargo activity during September, but activity might be down in October depending on how the government shutdown has impacted cargo activity, IATA said. Business confidence in the U.S. is improving, but has still not reached the level seen at the beginning of the year.
Cargo in the Asia-Pacific region has continued its decline, with ton-kilometers falling by 3.1 percent in September. Middle Eastern airline saw cargo rise by 9.9 percent in September, but with the average monthly increase at 12.3 percent, September seemed a little lackluster. Trade is improving in the area, however, and IATA senses a return to larger numbers.
In Europe, cargo activity in September increased by 1.4 percent.
"Airlines in the region have carried about 30 percent of the rise in global volumes since the second quarter," according to IATA.