The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released data for global air freight markets showing that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs), rose 5.9% in October 2017 compared to the year-earlier period.
This was a slowdown from the 9.2% annual growth recorded in September 2017 but still exceeded the average annual growth rate of 3.2% over the past decade.
Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne km (AFTKs), rose by 3.7% year-on-year in October. This was the 15th consecutive month in which demand growth outstripped capacity growth, which is positive for load factors, yields, and financial performance.
Airlines in all regions reported an increase in total year-on-year demand in October. However, in contrast, international freight growth slowed in all regions except Africa.
Asia-Pacific airlines saw freight volumes increase by 4.4% and capacity expanded by 3.9% in October, compared to the same period last year. Demand for freight is now around 3% higher than the peak reached in the post-financial crisis rebound in 2010.
European airlines posted a 6.4% increase in freight demand in October 2017. This was a marked slowdown from the 10.6% growth in demand in September, however it was still above the five year average of 4.9%. Capacity increased 2.5%. Concerns that the recent strengthening of the euro might have affected the region’s exporters have not materialised yet. Europe’s manufacturers’ export orders are growing at their fastest pace in more than seven years. Freight demand remains very healthy on transatlantic routes and is strong on routes to and from Asia – having received a boost in trade from the economic stimulus measures put in place by China.
According to the IATA, freight volumes are still expected to grow in 2018, although at a slower pace than in 2017.
Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO said that “Demand for air freight grew by 5.9% in October. And tightening supply conditions in the fourth quarter should see the air cargo industry deliver its strongest operational and financial performance since the post-global financial crisis rebound in 2010”