Latest air freight data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) show that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs), rose 6.8% in November 2016 compared to the year-earlier period. This was a slight slowdown from the 8.4% annual growth recorded in October 2016 — which was a 20-month high — but was still more than 2.5 times the average annual monthly growth rate of 2.6% over the past decade.
Growth in freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs), slowed to 4.4% in November.
IATA comments that the uptick in freight growth coincides with an increase in the shipment of silicon materials typically used in high-value consumer electronics shipped by air, and an apparent turnaround in new export orders. A modal shift to air cargo following the collapse of the Hanjin Shipping Company in August may have also contributed.
IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac cautioned that the trend in world trade is still stagnant and urged the the air cargo industry to “continue to improve its value offering by implementing modern customer-centric processes.”
Airlines in all regions except Latin America reported an increase in year-on-year demand in November. European airlines led the way with a 9.0% year-on-year increase in freight demand, followed by the Middle East (+7.8%), Asia-Pacific (+6.1%) and North America (+5.6%).