Peak Season Piques Airfreight Demand

Global air freight is on track to achieve its strongest operational and financial performance since the post-global financial crisis rebound in 2010. Demand measured in freight ton kilometers (FTKs) rose in November 2017 by 8.8 percent over 2016 totals, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

While the 2010 gains lasted for about one year following the Great Recession, 2017 gains should extend into 2018, predicts IATA. A broad-based global upturn, high consumer confidence, and international e-commerce growth should drive continued growth.

Exporters in Europe, China, and Japan report robust activity, due in large part to solid demand from U.S. businesses and consumers.

November 2017 marked the 16th consecutive month that capacity demand exceeded cargo space, according to IATA. This has led to a steady rise in freight rates, a trend likely to continue as Chinese production ramps up ahead of the Lunar New Year, which begins Feb. 16, 2018 and closes down factories.

All six world reporting regions—Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, Middle East, Latin America, Africa—saw year-on-year gains, according to IATA. Airlines in the Asia-Pacific—the largest region by market share—posted gains of 8.1 percent. North American and European carriers reported gains of 9.6 percent and 9.9 percent, respectively.

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