Demand growth in February 2017 for global air
freight markets increased by 8.4% in freight tonne kilometers
(FTKs) compared to the same period last year.
After adjusting for the impact of the leap year
in 2016, demand increased by 12%, almost four times better than
the five-year average rate of 3.0%.
Freight capacity, measured in available freight
tonne kilometers (AFTKs), shrank by 0.4% in February 2017.
The continued growth of air freight demand in 2017 is consistent
with an uptick in world trade which corresponds with new global export orders remaining at elevated levels in March. Of particular
note is the expanded volume of semi-conductor materials typically
used in high-value consumer electronics.
added to the cautious optimism building in air cargo markets.
Demand grew by 12% in February—about four times the five-year
average rate. With demand growing faster than capacity, yields got
a boost. While there are signs of stronger world trade, concerns
over the current protectionist rhetoric are still very real," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
rapid growth of niche markets such as cross-border e-commerce and
time and temperature sensitive pharmaceutical are showing robust
growth as noted at the World Air Cargo Symposium held in Abu Dhabi
"Any optimistic look at the future sees growing demand
for specialized value added services. Shippers are telling us that
the key to turning the current uptick in the cargo industry’s
fortunes into longer-term growth is modernizing our antiquated
processes. We must use the current momentum to push ahead with the
elements of the e-cargo vision—including the e-air waybill which
is nearing 50% market penetration," said de Juniac.
All regions, with the exception of Latin America, reported an
increase in demand in February 2017.
airlines posted the largest year-on-year demand increase among
regions in February 2017 with freight volumes growing 11.8% (more
than 15% adjusting for the leap year). Capacity increased by 2.0%
over the same time. The increase in demand is captured in the
positive outlook from business surveys in the region and is
reflected in the increase in trade across Asia-Pacific’s main
freight lanes to, from, and within the region, which have
strengthened considerably over the past six months. Seasonally-adjusted volumes dipped slightly in February but
remained up considerably since early 2016 and are now back to the
levels reached in 2010 during the post-global financial crisis
North American airlines’ freight
volumes expanded 5.8% (or more than 9% adjusting for the leap
year) in February 2017 compared to the same period a year earlier,
and capacity decreased by 3.1%. This was driven in part by the
strength of freight traffic to and from Asia which increased by
5.7% year-on-year in January. The further strengthening of the US
dollar continues to boost the inbound freight market but is
keeping the export market under pressure.
airlines posted a 10.5% (or around 14% adjusting for the leap
year) increase in freight volumes in February 2017 and a capacity
increase of 1.4%. The ongoing weakness of the Euro continues to
boost the performance of the European freight market which has
benefitted from strong export orders, particularly in Germany,
over the last few months.
Middle Eastern carriers’
year-on-year freight volumes increased 3.4% (or approximately 7%
adjusting for the leap year) in February 2017 and capacity
decreased 1.7%. Seasonally adjusted freight volumes continue to
trend upwards and demand remains strong between the Middle East
and Europe. Despite this, growth has eased from the double-digit
rates which were the norm over the past ten years. This
corresponds with a slowdown in network expansion by the region’s
Latin American airlines experienced a
contraction in demand of 4.9% (or around 1% adjusting for the leap
year) in February 2017 compared to the same period in 2016 and a
decrease in capacity of 7.2%. Recovery in seasonally-adjusted
volumes also stalled with demand 14% lower than at the peak in
2014. And freight volumes have now been in contractionary
territory in 25 out of the last 27 months. The region’s carriers
have managed to adjust capacity, which has limited the negative
impact on the load factor. Latin America continues to be blighted
by weak economic and political conditions.
carriers’ saw freight demand increase by 10.6% (or more than 14%
adjusting for the leap year) in February 2017 compared to the same
month last year and capacity increase by 1.0%. Year-to-date demand
has increased by 16.2%, helped by very strong growth on the trade
lanes to and from Asia. The increase in demand has helped the
region’s seasonally-adjusted load factor rise by 2.8 percentage
points so far in 2017.
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