The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released October data for global air freight markets showing that the strong performance of air cargo in recent months is continuing. Demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTK), rose 5.4 per cent in October compared to October 2013. This out-stripped capacity which grew by 4.4 per cent. Compared to September demand grew by 0.7 per cent bringing freight volumes to a new record monthly high.
The good results reflect the improvements in world trade and business activity which have been evident since the summer. World trade is growing steadily, supporting increased air cargo shipments. Regional differentiation in performance, however, is very apparent. Carriers in the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific saw demand grow faster than the global trend, while North America, Europe and Latin America grew more slowly. More significantly, however, carriers in all regions except for Europe improved on their year-to-date performance. Cargo demand for European carriers grew by a weak 1.4 per cent compared to the previous October, reflecting economic uncertainty and the impact of sanctions as a result of the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
“We are now back to levels of demand not seen since the 2010 post-recession bounce-back. But the industry is still in the hot seat and under pressure to improve its value offering. Customer expectations have evolved dramatically. Other modes of cargo have improved their competitiveness. Shippers expect the efficiency of electronic processes that they experience in almost every other sector. And when shipping specialty products — such as those requiring cold chain control — they expect quality from end-to-end. The industry is investing to build its future by meeting these expectations,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.