Revealing its latest statistics, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said that air cargo demand measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK) remained strong in November 2017 with 8.8 per cent growth compared to the year-earlier p
IATA suggested that the growth coincides with the traditional period of strong demand seen in the fourth quarter, with November's performance putting the air cargo industry back on track to achieve its strongest operational and financial performance since the post-global financial crisis rebound in 2010.
Despite indicators pointing to air cargo having passed a cyclical growth peak, demand remains strong.
Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTKs), rose by 4.0 percent year-on-year in November. This was the 16th consecutive month in which demand growth outstripped capacity growth, which is positive for industry load factors, yields, and financial performance, says IATA.
It says the Purchasing Managers Index for manufacturing and export orders, which has tracked sideways for much of 2017, reached a seven-year high in the fourth quarter signifying that growth is carrying momentum into 2018. "Airfreight demand remains robust. November showed 8.8 percent year-on-year growth, keeping up the momentum that will make 2017 the strongest year for air cargo since 2010," said IATA director general and ceo, Alexandre de Juniac.
He pointed to buoyant consumer confidence, the growth of international e-commerce and the broad-based global economic upturn as being the reasons why 2018 will also be a good year.
In November, growth remained strongest in Africa, up 17.5 percent. Europe was second, up 9.9 percent, with North America slightly behind on 9.6 percent and Latin America recording growth of 9.4 percent in November. Asia-Pacific grew by 8.1 percent with manufacturers continuing to enjoy buoyant export order books and major exporters in China and Japan reporting rising demand, supported by a pick-up in economic activity in Europe and a continued solid performance from the USA. The Middle East had the lowest growth for the second time in three months, rising 6.6 percent, though seasonally adjusted volumes are strong and load factors have increased substantially on routes to and from the Middle East to North America, says IATA.