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Asia Pacific air cargo figures suggest sustained regional recovery

By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
November 01, 2010

U.S. retailers and manufacturers continue to increase their reliance on air cargo from Asia, said a leading supply chain authority.

According to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA), the month of September showed a continued surge in cargo volume and traffic.

“Freight markets remained robust as the economic recovery maintained its momentum,” said AAPA spokesmen.

International air cargo demand increased by 18.5 percent compared to the same month last year, while freight capacity expanded by 19.3 percent, resulting in a 0.5 percentage point decline in the average international cargo load factor to 67.9 percent.

“Asian economies have been leading the way out of the global downturn, and this has resulted in a tremendous boost to the fortunes of carriers across the region,” said Andrew Herdman, AAPA Director General.

“Over the past nine months, we have seen a dramatic 30.2 percent growth in international air cargo traffic, compared to the same period last year.”

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) came to a similar conclusion late last month when it announced a modest global uptick in freight traffic led by Asia Pacific carriers. IATA recorded a 15.0 percent increase in freight demand over the previous year, a finding that came as scant surprise to U.S. shippers.

“We modest, but sustained growth in the region,” said Brandon Fried, executive director of the Air Forwarders Association. “On the outbound side, the nation’s entertainment and high-tech industries are reporting good numbers.”

Both Fried and Herdman noted that Asian consumers are already displaying confidence in the future—in marked contrast to the U.S.

“The overall outlook for Asian carriers remains very positive over the next 12 months,” said Herdman, “with prospects for further sustained growth in demand in line with established long term trends.”

About the Author

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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 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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