Air freight grows three times faster than ocean

Air freight forwarding grew nearly three times faster than ocean forwarding in the first half of 2010, according to a new report on global freight trends from Transport Intelligence (TI). The air freight forwarding market grew 38 per cent in the first six months of the year over the same period a year ago, compared […]


Air freight forwarding grew nearly three times faster than ocean forwarding in the first half of 2010, according to a new report on global freight trends from Transport Intelligence (TI). The air freight forwarding market grew 38 per cent in the first six months of the year over the same period a year ago, compared with ocean forwarding which grew only 13 per cent from last year’s severe contraction. The strong rebound in air was attributed to the “drastic steps” by both air and ocean carriers to cut capacity, which put pressure on shippers and their logistics providers to seek more expensive space.

The increase in volume this year followed a 23 per cent year-on-year decline in the overall global forwarding market in 2009 and a slight 2.4 per cent increase in 2008, TI said.

The international freight industry went into freefall last year with the market falling by 23per cent. This followed a small increase in 2008 of 2.4 per cent – in itself a marked slowdown from double digit growth seen in the mid-2000s.

The market contraction was caused by a combination of falling volumes and rates – the former caused by a huge inventory overhang in Western consumer markets, and the latter by air and sea over-capacity on all major lanes. At the beginning of 2009 shipping and airlines were still increasing their capacity, despitesigns of slowdown, and this meant that the ‘gap ratio’ between supply anddemand widened significantly throughoutthe first six months of the year.