Airfreight markets across the world have reported solid growth rates between March 2013 and March 2014, according to the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) report that was released today (Tuesday, May 6). The overall data shows that the market improved by 5.9 per cent year on year, in addition to an increase in capacity by 3.4 per cent.
The Middle East region saw the greatest rise in freight tonne kilometres volumes, with 13.2 per cent growth since March 2013, thanks to airlines taking advantage of improved circumstance in emerging economies. Middle Eastern carriers are expanding their service offerings, as well as varying the goods they deliver.
Northern America saw a 1.9 per cent year-on-year growth, which is relatively low in comparison with other regions. Experts attribute this to poor weather conditions, but that is expected to change and cause an increase in numbers. European carriers saw an increase in numbers by 5.1 per cent when compared with the same period last year and is expected to continue to expand.
Tony Tyler, director-general and CEO of IATA, says: “Cargo markets had a boost in the last quarter of 2013, but have now leveled off. It is a competitive industry with growing capacity chasing weak demand. The business cycle will eventually swing upwards. But the air cargo industry also needs to improve its value proposition if it is to attract growth when markets improve. Modernising air cargo processes and infrastructure offers the potential to cut end-to-end shipping times by up to 48 hours. We cannot let market doldrums hold us back from this critical competitive gain.”
According to the report, freight volumes did not improve in Latin America, as trade in the region declined at the beginning of the year. African carriers saw a 5.9 per cent year-on-year increase, which is a relatively good number, considering growth volatility in the region.