Jan 11, 2017: Demand across global air freight markets rose 6.8 per cent in November 2016 compared to the year-earlier period, according to data released by The International Air Transport Association (IATA).

But there has been a slight slowdown from the 8.4 per cent annual growth recorded in October 2016 - which was a 20-month high. Nonetheless, it was more than 2.5 times the average annual monthly growth rate of 2.6 per cent over the past decade. Growth in freight capacity slowed to 4.4 per cent November, stated the IATA report.

African carriers witnessed the largest increase in freight demand among the regions in November. Freight demand grew 10.9 per cent year-on-year, and the seasonally-adjusted growth remained strong. However, capacity surged by 26.9 per cent riding on the long-haul expansion by Ethiopian Airlines in particular. This has caused the freight load factor to fall in annual terms for the 19th consecutive month.

Middle Eastern carriers witnessed increase in demand from the strong peak season with freight volumes improving by 7.8 per cent in November 2016, year-on-year. Seasonally-adjusted growth has slowed, however, mainly due to weak freight volumes between the Middle East and Asia, and the Middle East and Europe. Freight volumes grew by just 4 per cent on these routes in the January-October 2016 period, compared with 8-11 per cent over the same period in 2015. Capacity in the region increased by 5.1 per cent in November.

An increase in the shipment of silicon materials typically used in high-value consumer electronics shipped by air, and a turnaround in new export orders pushed freight growth higher. Also, modal shift to air cargo following the collapse of the Hanjin Shipping Company in August may have also triggered the growth.

"Air cargo enjoyed a strong peak season in November. And there are encouraging signs that this growth will to continue into 2017, particularly with the shipment of high-value consumer electronics and their component parts. But, the trend in world trade is still stagnant. So, it remains critically important for the air cargo industry to continue to improve its value offering by implementing modern customer-centric processes," said Alexandre de Juniac, director general and CEO, IATA.

Photo Credit: Abir Anwar/flickr

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