Air cargo market taking off with strong performance in 2016 and first quarter.
The international air cargo market has seen a strong rally, that began in 2016 and has continued into the first quarter of this year. Overall global traffic was up 6.9 percent year-over-year in January, said the International Air Transport Association (IATA), after a 10 percent jump in December. Over the last five years, the annual growth rate has been closer to three percent.
The continuing momentum in the market was driven by a steady rise in new export orders, which in February reached their highest level since March 2011, coupled with an increase in shipments of silicon materials used in high-value consumer electronics, typically shipped by air. The early arrival of Chinese New Year in January may also have factored into the higher air freight demand, said the IATA.
North American carriers’ traffic expanded by 6.1 percent in January, while capacity was up just .1 percent, inviting the specter of rate increases as the carriers seek to increase operating margins. Asian-Pacific airlines saw demand grow six percent in January, while European carriers posted an 8.7 percent increase in cargo volume, African traffic soared 24 percent, and middle East airlines’ traffic grew 8.4 percent. Latin America was the only down region, with demand contracting by 4.1 percent.
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