Strong demand for air cargo could continue in 2017
Jan 11, 2017: Global air freight markets showed that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs), rose 6.8 percent in November 2016, compared the same period last year, according to the data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
This was a slight slowdown from the 8.4 percent annual growth recorded in October 2016 - which was a 20-month high - but was still more than 2.5 times the average annual monthly growth rate of 2.6 percent over the past decade.
Growth in freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs), slowed to 4.4 percent November.
The uptick in freight growth coincides with an increase in the shipment of silicon materials typically used in high-value consumer electronics shipped by air, and an apparent turnaround in new export orders.
A modal shift to air cargo following the collapse of the Hanjin Shipping Company in August may have also contributed.
Moreover, given the rising popularity of sales events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and their corresponding focus on traditionally airfreighted items including consumer electronics, the intensity of the 2016 peak period may be a sign of things to come for future years.
Airlines in all regions except Latin America reported an increase in year-on-year demand in November.
"Air cargo enjoyed a strong peak season in November. And there are encouraging signs that this growth will to continue into 2017, particularly with the shipment of high-value consumer electronics and their component parts. But, the trend in world trade is still stagnant. So it remains critically important for the air cargo industry to continue to improve its value offering by implementing modern customer-centric processes," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.