Air cargo demand rose 6.9 per cent in January 2017 compared to a year earlier, according to the International Air Transport Association.
Demand, measured in freight tonne kilometres, was down from the ten per cent annual growth recorded in December 2016, but it still was well above the average annual growth rate of three per cent over the past five years.
Growth in freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometres, slowed to 3.5 per cent in January 2017.
Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and chief executive, said: “It’s been a good start to the year for air cargo. Demand growth accelerated in January, bolstered by strengthening export orders. And that outpaced the capacity growth which should be positive for yields. And, longer-term, the entry into force of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) will cut red tape at the borders for faster, cheaper and easier trade. The onus is now on the industry to seize the opportunity to accelerate the modernization of processes to make air cargo an even more compelling option for shippers.”
European airlines posted an 8.7 per cent increase in freight volumes while capacity increased 3.3 per cent. This strong performance corresponds with an increase in reported new export orders, particularly in Germany over the last few months. It was also helped in part by the on-going weakness in the Eurozone.
All regions, with the exception of Latin America, reported an increase in demand in January 2017.
Asia-Pacific airlines saw demand in freight volumes grow 6.0 per cent in January 2017 and capacity increase by 6.6 per cent, compared to the same period in 2016.
North American airlines’ freight volumes expanded 6.1 per cent in January 2017 year-on-year, as capacity increased 0.6 per cent.
The only region to see a fall in demand was Latin American where airlines experienced a contraction of 4.1 per cent