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IATA: air cargo growth still strong
Freight loading in Frankfurt. © Fraport

IATA: air cargo growth still strong

IATA says global air freight demand increased by 11.4% in July 2017 compared to the same period a year ago —the fourth month out of five with double-digit growth.

International Air Transport Association (IATA) data for global air freight markets show that demand increased by 11.4% in July 2017 compared to the same period a year ago —the fourth time in five months that double-digit annual growth has been recorded. July's year-on-year increase in demand is well ahead of capacity growth (+3.7%) and nearly four times higher than the ten-year average growth rate of 3.1%.

The robust growth in air cargo demand is consistent with an uptick in global trade, rising export orders and upbeat business confidence indicators, IATA notes. However, the association also sees signs that demand growth for air freight may be nearing a peak. Seasonally-adjusted air freight volumes were flat in June and fell in July; and the global inventory-to-sales ratio has stabilized.

IATA data showed all regions posting robust freight growth in July 2017.   

- Asia-Pacific airlines' freight volumes grew 11%, while capacity increased by 6.3%. Seasonally-adjusted international freight volumes fell slightly in July but remain more than 3% above the volumes reached following the 2010 post-global financial crisis bounce-back.

- North American carriers posted an increase in freight volumes of 11.9% in July 2017, and a capacity increase of 1.1%.

- European airlines posted a 12.1% increase in freight demand in July 2017 and a capacity increase of 5.5%. Double-digit growth in international demand has now been recorded in nine out of the past eleven months bolstered by strong demand on the Europe-Asia market..

- Middle Eastern carriers' year-on-year freight volumes increased 9.3% in July 2017 and capacity decreased 0.4%. However, amid strong competition from other region's carriers particularly on the Asia-Europe route, Middle East carriers are not seeing as strong a pickup in the seasonally adjusted traffic trend as other region's carriers.   

- African carriers posted the largest year-on-year increase in demand of all regions in July 2017 with freight volumes growing 33.7% - the second fastest monthly rise in seven years.

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