March 8, 2017
According to data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), global air cargo volumes grew by 6.9% in January 2017 compared to the year-earlier period. While this was down from the 10% annual growth recorded in December 2016 it still was well above the average annual growth rate of 3% over the past five years.
IATA notes that the continued positive momentum in freight growth into 2017 coincides with a steady rise in new export orders, which reached their highest level since March 2011. There has also been an increase in the shipment of silicon materials typically used in high-value consumer electronics shipped by air.
All regions, with the exception of Latin America, reported an increase in demand in January 2017. North American airlines' freight volumes expanded 6.1% in January 2017 year-on-year, as international freight volumes saw their fastest pace since the US seaports disruption boosted demand in February 2015. Asia-Pacific airlines saw demand in freight volumes grow 6.0%, European airlines posted an 8.7% increase and Middle Eastern carriers' freight volumes increased 8.4%
"It's been a good start to the year for air cargo. Demand growth accelerated in January, bolstered by strengthening export orders. And that outpaced the capacity growth which should be positive for yields. And, longer-term, the entry into force of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) will cut red tape at the borders for faster, cheaper and easier trade," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's Director General and CEO.
"The onus is now on the industry to seize the opportunity to accelerate the modernization of processes to make air cargo an even more compelling option for shippers," said de Juniac.