Air cargo may be finally staging a comeback

The International Air Transport Association announced international traffic results for October showing a 14.4 percent for year-on-year increase for international freight.

By ·

A slight surge in air cargo demand has some industry analysts predicting a prolonged rebound.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced international traffic results for October showing a 14.4 percent for year-on-year increase for international freight.

“As we approach the end of 2010, growth is returning to a more normal pattern,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO. “Where we go from here is dependant on developments in the global economy.”

Charles Clowdis, managing director of transportation for IHS Global Insight, agrees that the freight sector may have reached a “turning point.”

“Following a promising ‘Black Friday,’ it appears U.S. consumers are ready to spend again,” he said. “That trend will be expressed in future cargo levels, but don’t expect a big increase. We are still not back to where we were five years ago.”

IATA, too, noted that The US is spending more to boost its economy.

“Asia outside of Japan is barrelling forward with high-speed growth. And Europe is tightening its belt as its currency crisis continues. The picture going forward is anything but clear, but for the time being, the recovery seems to be strengthening,” said Bisignani.

Freight appears to finally be staging a comeback. Since May, freight volumes have declined by 5 percent. October saw an end to the decline in freight with a slight uptick.
“But a single month does not make a trend. And it remains to be seen if this is the stabilization in freight volumes or the start of an upward trend,” said Bisignani.

Improvements in demand are being met by “a cautious approach” to capacity expansion, said IATA. Over the first 10 months of the year, cargo capacity expansion of 9.2 percent was well below the demand increase of 24 percent.

Meanwhile, North American airlines posted a 12.4 percent demand increase over October 2009. October represented the fastest growth rate for the year. With a capacity increase of 11.9 percent, the load factor for North American airlines was pushed to 82.5 percent, the highest among all regions. Compared to pre-recession levels of early 2008, the region’s airlines are carrying 2 percent more traffic.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

Air Cargo · Freight · IATA · Transportation · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Lead your organization through the driver shortage and over-the-road regulations.
Potential transportation disruptions are looming as increased over-the-road regulations are set to go into effect in 2017. Experts believe these regulations will further impact the already challenged driver pool as well as reduce driver productivity.
Download Today!
From the January 2017 Issue
Following LM tradition, we start off the New Year with our annual “Rate Outlook” cover story and subsequent Webcast
Moore on Pricing: The other TMS functional options
2017 Rate Outlook: Where are freight transportation rates headed?
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
2017 Rate Outlook: Where are freight transportation rates headed?
Join our panel of top oil and transportation analysts for an exclusive look at where rates are headed and the issues driving those rate increases over the coming year.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
2017 Rate Outlook: Will the pieces fall into place?
Trade and transport analysts see a turnaround in last year’s negative market outlook, but as...
Logistics Management’s Top Logistics News Stories 2016
From mergers and acquisitions to regulation changes, Logistics Management has compiled the most...

Making the TMS Decision: Ariens Finds Just the Right Fit
The third time is the charm for this U.S. manufacturer on the hunt for a third-party logistics (3PL)...
Motor Carrier Regulations Update: Caught in a Trap
The fed is hitting truckers with a barrage of costly regulations in an era of scant profits....