IATA: Air cargo outperforms expectations in 2016

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IATA director general and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac

Freight volumes outperformed forecasts in 2016 with 3.8 per cent growth helped by strong recovery in the second half of the year, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) says.

Global airfreight volumes had a weak start to the year but picked up in the second half with a strong peak season, increased shipments of silicon materials and a turnaround in new export orders.

Freight tonne kilometres surged 9.8 per cent in December, which IATA says may have been because of the early timing of Lunar New Year.

IATA director general and chief executive officer, Alexandre de Juniac says: “In terms of demand, 2016 was a good year for air cargo. That was boosted by solid year-end performance. Looking ahead, strong export orders are good news.”

“But there are headwinds. The most significant is stagnant world trade which also faces the risk of protectionist measures. Governments must not forget that trade is a powerful tool for growth and prosperity.”

De Juniac also urges the industry to improve competitiveness, saying: “We know that the way forward is defined by digital processes which will drive efficiency and improve customer satisfaction. We must use the momentum of renewed demand growth to drive the important innovations of the e-cargo vision.”