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
How Lean is your Lean Quality Program?
Avoid quality program bureaucracy that can sap logistics productivity and increase costs
Download Today!
From the September 2016 Issue
Indecision revolving around three complex supply chain elements—transportation, technology and organizational structure—finds many companies waiting to commit to a strategic path. However, waiting too long will only result in a competitive disadvantage that will be difficult to overcome in today’s fast-paced, global economy.
Time for Asia’s ports to rebuild
Is the freight recession upon us…again?
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Supply Chain Best Practices: Visibility to In-Transit Inventory
During this webcast you'll learn on how various organizations have gained instant access to in-transit parcels and given access to this information to stakeholders.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
25th Annual Masters of Logistics
Indecision revolving around three complex supply chain elements—transportation, technology and...
2016 Quest for Quality: Winners Take the Spotlight
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers and U.S. ports have crossed the service-excellence...

Regional ports concentrate on growth and connectivity
With the Panama Canal expansion complete, ocean cargo gateways in the Caribbean are investing to...
Digital Reality Check
Just how close are we to the ideal digital supply network? Not as close as we might like to think....