ACMG: Market needs 125 new freighters per year

Demand for freighter aircraft continues to trend higher, according to a newly-released forecast issued by the Air Cargo Management Group (ACMG).


Demand for freighter aircraft continues to trend higher, according to a newly-released forecast issued by the Air Cargo Management Group (ACMG). According the ACMG, the air freight market will need about 125 new freighters per year to meet growth and replacement needs over the next 20 years in a ‘baseline-growth; scenario, which is based on 4.5 per cent annual growth in demand. This compares to the 95 freighters (production units and passenger-to-freighter conversions) added per year from 1990-2014.

Even under the extreme case, where there is assumed to be no growth in air cargo demand over the next twenty years, there would be a need for about 60 added freighters per year to offset the capacity of freighters retired from the existing fleet.

Robert Dahl, managing director of ACMG, and one of the forecast’s authors, said: “Some vigor returned to the air freight market last year, and that has only continued this year. When looking over the long term, the outlook for freighters is healthy.”

The freighter fleet peaked in size at 1,800 units in 2006-2007, but then contracted with the fleet total hovering around 1,600 units since 2009. The total increased by about 50 units in 2014, to reach a level of 1,609 as at the beginning of 2015. The baseline forecast calls for the fleet to grow to 2,887 units through 2034.