Global freight markets maintained their strong growth experienced so far in calendar 2017 during July as improved business confidence lifts cargo demand, new figures show.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said freight tonne kilometres (FTK) rose 11.4 per cent in July, compared with the prior corresponding period.
It was the fourth time in the past five months cargo demand has posted double-digit growth.
Cargo capacity, measured by available freight tonne kilometres (AFTK), rose 3.7 per cent in July.
African carriers reported the largest growth in demand, with FTKs up 33.7 per cent in the month thanks to a “surge in traffic between Africa and Asia”. Despite the jump, African represented 1.6 per cent of global air freight, the smallest of all the regions.
Asia Pacific, which carries the largest percentage of all air freight with 37.4 per cent of the world market, experienced an 11 per cent rise in FTKs, with demand growth robust on all the major routes to, from and within the region, IATA said.
The IATA report noted freight conditions were strongest in Taiwan, while the latest date indicated conditions were improving in the major export markets of China and Japan. By contrast there were falling export orders in South Korea.
“Business surveys continue to indicate widespread variation in the strength of manufacturers’ export order books in the region,” IATA said.
IATA chief executive and director general Alexandre de Juniac noted July was the third consecutive month global demand for air freight grew at a faster pace than demand for air travel.
However, de Juniac cautioned there were signs freight’s “cyclical growth period may be nearing a peak”, with some business indicators beginning to show some flattening in demand for the rest of calendar 2017.