Export orders drive air cargo demand in January

IATA director general and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) says airfreight markets saw demand in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs) rise 6.9 per cent in January 2017 compared to the year-earlier period.

IATA says this was down from the 10 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.

Africa’s FTKs grew by 24.3 per cent, Asia Pacific six er cent, Europe 8.7 per cent, the Middle East 8.4 per cent, North America by 6.1 per cent, but the only region seeing a fall was Latin America where FTKs fell by 4.1 per cent.

Growth in freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs), slowed to 3.5 per cent in January 2017.

IATA says the continued positive momentum in freight growth into 2017 coincides with a steady rise in new export orders, which reached their highest level in February (latest data available) since March 2011.

There has also been an increase in the shipment of silicon materials typically used in high-value consumer electronics shipped by air. The timing of the Lunar New Year (in January 2017) also may have contributed to higher demand in January.

IATA’s director general and chief executive officer, Alexandre de Juniac says: “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.”