"Unprecedented and shocking" Decline in Air Cargo

This is a direct reflection of the drop in shipping traffic.

In the month of December global international cargo traffic plummeted by 22.6% compared to December 2007. The same comparison for international passenger traffic showed a 4.6% drop. The international load factor stood at 73.8%.

“The 22.6% free fall in global cargo is unprecedented and shocking. There is no clearer description of the slowdown in world trade. Even in September 2001, when much of the global fleet was grounded, the decline was only 13.9%,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO.” Air cargo carries 35% of the value of goods traded internationally.
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“2009 is shaping up to be one of the toughest years ever for international aviation. The 22.6% drop in international cargo traffic in December puts us in un-charted territory and the bottom is nowhere in sight. Keep your seatbelts fastened and prepare for a bumpy ride and a hard landing,” said Bisignani.

There is some sort of fundamental change happening in the world economy today. Is it a retreat from globalization? Or it is a collapse of the world's credit markets? Or both?

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anyone smell this in the air?

I just get the feeling that autarky is looking possible.

I don't know if this movement is necessarily a bad thing...
it would assuredly be cool is nations started trading finished, final product which would start a better alignment with actual trade theory...

But your report on the jugular vein of international trade is shocking and I am wondering if that is the overall implication here.

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