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Air cargo growth continues in 2018
Freight loading in Frankfurt. © Fraport

Air cargo growth continues in 2018

After posting the highest growth since 2010 last year, air freight has got off to a bright start in 2018.

After a strong 2017, including the highest growth (9%) since 2010, air freight has got off to a bright start in 2018.

According to data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), global air freight demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs), rose 8.0% in January 2018 compared to the year-earlier period. This was up from the 5.8% annual growth recorded in December 2017.

Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs), rose by 4.2% year-on-year in January 2018. Carriers based in Africa (12.9%), Europe (10.5%) and Asia-Pacific (7.7%) led the way.

IATA notes that global demand for manufacturing exports is buoyant and meeting this strong demand is leading to longer supply chain delivery times. It predicts that demand for air cargo may strengthen as a result, with companies seeking faster delivery times to make up for longer production times.

IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, cautioned that demand for air cargo was expected to taper to a more normal 4.5% growth rate for 2018. He warned of potential headwinds: “If President Trump follows through on his promise to impose sanctions on aluminium and steel imports, there is a very real risk of a trade war. Nobody wins when protectionist measures escalate.”

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