The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released January performance data showing a strong rise in air freight growth compared to a year ago. Global freight tonne kilometers (FTKs) rose 4.5 per cent in January compared to January 2013. This is a significant acceleration on the 2.2 per cent year-on-year growth rate recorded in December, and is well above the 1.4 per cent full-year growth reported for 2013 as compared to 2012.
Growth was solid across all regions, with Middle Eastern carriers growing the fastest (10.7 per cent). European airlines continued to benefit from Europe’s recovery from recession, posting 6.0 per cent growth. Carriers based in the Asia-Pacific region, which account for nearly 40 per cent of the global air freight market, reported 3.8 per cent growth. This represents a major improvement over the 1.0 per cent contraction in 2013.
“The improvement in demand is good news. It is a step-up in pace from the mild strengthening that we saw towards the second half of 2013. And in real terms, volumes are similar to the 2010 post-recession peak. But there is also ample reason to be cautious. Protectionist measures are part of the reason for a slower expansion of world trade than we would expect from current levels of industrial production. Companies continue to re-organize supply chains in their efforts to move manufacturing on-shore,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.