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
Case Study: LEAN Yields Big Results
Every day, companies across a wide range of industries use LEAN in their supply chains, warehouses and distribution centers, finance departments, and customer service centers, among other areas. LEAN practices improve safety, quality, and productivity by extracting cost and waste from all facets of an operation – from the procurement of raw materials to the shipment of finished goods.
Download Today!
From the October 2016 Issue
Over the past decade we’ve seen a major trend in regards to safety regulations for freight transport within the United States as well as for import and export shippers—that trend is the “international­ization” of rules and regulations.
European Logistics Update: Post-Brexit U.K. moving ahead, but in which direction?
Badcock Home Furniture &more: Out with paper, in with Cloud TMS
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
How API Technology Connects the Transportation Economy
Dynamic decision making is made possible through accurate, actionable data. When combined with progress in data science and the Internet of Things, technology companies that add value to direct-to-carrier APIs and combine them with high-power data analytics will create new concepts for the information economy.
Register Today!
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....
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...