Air freight demand soars to seven year high

Air freight demand soars to seven year high

Air freight demand rose by 9% in 2017, its highest level for seven years, according to the latest data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
 
According to the IATA, which represents some 280 airlines and 83% of global air traffic, global air freight demand, grew by 9.0%, more than double the 3.6% annual growth recorded in 2016. Freight capacity meanwhile, rose by 3% in 2017, the slowest annual capacity growth seen since 2012.
 
Air cargo’s strong performance in 2017 was sealed by a solid result in December. Year-on-year demand growth in December increased 5.7%. This was less than half the annual growth rate seen during the middle of 2017 but still well above the five-year average of 4.7%. Freight capacity grew by 3.3% year-on-year in December. Full-year 2017 demand for air freight grew at twice the pace of the expansion in world trade (4.3%). This outperformance was a result of strong global demand for manufacturing exports as companies moved to restock inventories quickly.
 
Alexandre de Juniac (pictured above), IATA’s Director General and CEO, said: "Air cargo had its strongest performance since the rebound from the global financial crisis in 2010. Demand grew by 9.0%. That outpaced the industry-wide growth in both cargo capacity and in passenger demand. We saw improvements in load factors, yields and revenues. Air cargo is still a very tough and competitive business, but the developments in 2017 were the most positive that we have seen in a very long time.
 
"The outlook for air freight in 2018 is optimistic. Consumer confidence is buoyant. And we see growing strength in international e-commerce and the transport of time - and temperature-sensitive goods such as pharmaceuticals. Overall the pace of growth is expected to slow from the exceptional 9.0% of this year. But we still expect a very healthy 4.5% expansion of demand in 2018. Challenges remain, including the need for industry-wide evolution to more efficient processes. That will help improve customer satisfaction and capture market share as the expectations of shippers and consumers grow ever more demanding," added de Juniac.