IATA hopes global air freight will increase by a 5-year compound annual growth rate of 3%

IATA has said it expects global air freight, which has not grown much this year and declined in some regions, to grow in future.  It expects an increase in global air freight in 2012 of  1.4% compared to 2011,  followed by an increase over the next 5 years which compounded is 3% , up to 3.7% growth in the year 2016.  In 2011 there were approximately 29.7 millions tonnes air freighted.  IATA expects there to be 34.5 million tonnes air freighted in 2016. However, they expect the growth of air freight in Europe over the next 5 years to be only 2.2%, which is the slowest growth of any region.  IATA expects the UK to have 1.8 million tonnes of  international air freight by 2016, compared to 2.3 million tonnes in 2011, according to CAA data .  By 2016, the largest international freight markets will be the United States (7.7 million tonnes), Germany (4.2 mt, China (3.5 mt, Hong Kong (3.2 mt), Japan (2.9 mt, the United Arab Emirates (2.5 mt), the Republic of Korea (1.9 mt), the UK (1.8 mt), India (1.6 mt) and the Netherlands (1.6 mt).

IATA offers the air freight industry reasons to be cheerful

December 6, 2012  (Air Cargo World)

IATA’s latest Airline Industry Forecast predicts average international freight growth of 3% per year over the next five years. If the association is correct – and critics will point out that it has been forced repeatedly to water down recent short-term projections–volumes will total 34.5 million tonnes by 2016, 4.8 million tonnes more than the 2011 total.

A steadily upward growth trend over the forecast period, starting at 1.4% growth in 2012 and accelerating to 3.7% in 2016, forms the basis of IATA’s upbeat assessment. The five fastest-growing international freight markets over the 2011-2016 period are expected to be Sir Lanka (8.7 percent), Vietnam (7.4 percent), Brazil (6.3 percent), India (6.0 percent) and Egypt (5.9 percent).

Five of the 10 fastest-growing countries are in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region, reflecting its growing importance in international airfreight.

International freight demand will rise by 3% in the Asia-Pacific region, in line with global growth over the period. Routes within and connected to the Asia-Pacific region will comprise some 57% of cargo shipments, IATA believes.

Europe will see the slowest growth of any region in international freight demand, at just 2.2%, while the predicted figure for North America is 2.4%.

The Middle East will achieve the strongest international freight growth at 4.9%, while volumes in and out of Latin America and Africa are predicted to increase at 4.4% and 4% per year respectively.

[And then the usual platitudes about how beneficial aviation is ……again  ….]

“Despite the current economic uncertainty, expected demand for connectivity remains strong. That’s good news for the global economy. Growing air transport links generate jobs and underpin economic growth in all economies,” said Tony Tyler, IATA director general and CEO.

“But exploiting these will require governments to recognize aviation’s value with policies that do not stifle innovation, tax regimes that do not punish success and investments to enable infrastructure to keep up with growth.”





The section on Freight from the 6th December 2012 IATA press release, at    link  says:


International Freight Developments

  • International freight volumes are expected to grow at a five-year CAGR [compound annual growth rate)  of 3.0%, which is the result of an upward growth trend over forecast period – starting at 1.4% growth in 2012 and reaching 3.7% in 2016.
  • The five fastest growing international freight markets over the 2011-2016 period will be Sir Lanka (8.7% CAGR), Vietnam (7.4%), Brazil (6.3%), India (6.0%) and Egypt (5.9%). Five of the 10 fastest growing countries are in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region, reflecting MENA’s growing importance in international air freight.
  • By 2016, the largest international freight markets will be the United States (7.7 million tonnes), Germany (4.2 million tonnes), China (3.5 million tonnes), Hong Kong (3.2 million tonnes), Japan (2.9 million tonnes), the United Arab Emirates (2.5 million tonnes), the Republic of Korea (1.9 million tonnes), the United Kingdom (1.8 million tonnes), India (1.6 million tonnes) and the Netherlands (1.6 million tonnes).
  • Freight carriage within the Asia-Pacific region will account for around 30% of the expected total increase in freight tonnage over the period.

Regional Outlook over the 2012-2016 forecast period

  • Asia-Pacific passenger traffic is forecast to grow at 6.7% CAGR. Traffic within the Asia-Pacific region will represent 33% of global passengers in 2016, up from 29% in 2011. This makes the region the largest regional market for air transport (ahead of North America and Europe which each represent 21%). International freight demand will rise 3% CAGR, in line with global growth over the period. Routes within and connected to the Asia-Pacific region will comprise some 57% of cargo shipments.
  • Africa will report the strongest passenger growth with 6.8% CAGR. International cargo demand will rise 4%.
  • The Middle East is expected to have the third fastest growth rate at 6.6%. International freight demand will grow at 4.9%, the strongest growth among the regions.
  • Europe will see international passenger demand growth of 4.4% CAGR. International freight demand for the region will grow 2.2% CAGR, the slowest for any region.
  • North America will record the slowest international passenger demand growth–4.3% CAGR. International freight demand will rise 2.4%.
  • Latin America will see international passenger demand grow 5.8% CAGR. International freight demand will increase 4.4% per annum.





 Global air freight tonnage growth or decline over recent years

Looking back at the annual figures that IATA produces each year, from its press releases,  below are the figures for growth or decline in air freight over the past 8 years.  [FTK is Freight Tonne Kilometres.  AFTK is Available Freight Tonne Kilometres].

In 2011, air freight was down  – 0.6% compared to 2010.

In 2010 if was up + 20.6% compared to 2009

In 2009 it was down – 10.1% compared to 2008

In 2008 it was down – 4% compared to 2007

In 2007 it was up + 4.3% compared to 2006

In 2006 it was up + 4.6% compared to 2005

In 2005 it was up + 3.2% compared to 2004






CAA data for air freight tonnage for all reporting UK airports :


Total All Reporting UK Airports (tonnes)
2001     – 2 143 281
2002     – 2 193 255
2003     – 2 205 934
2004    –  2 368 601
2005     – 2 360 984
2006     – 2 314 547
2007     – 2 325 239
2008     – 2 282 153
2009     – 2 047 861
2010     – 2 324 822
2011     – 2 297 602