According to the latest report released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) the demand growth for global air freight market is showing a 14 percent expansion measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs) compared to the same period last year. This was the fastest pace of growth recorded since October 2010. Cargo capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTKs), grew by 4.2 percent year-on-year in March 2017.
March performance contributed to very strong first quarter (Q1) growth in freight volumes. After adjusting for the impact of the leap year in 2016, freight demand in Q1 2017 increased by nearly 11 percent. Capacity grew by 3.7 percent over the same period (leap year adjusted).
The strengthening of air freight demand in March is consistent with an uptick in world trade and a six-year high in new export orders. An increase in the shipment of silicon materials typically used in high-value consumer electronics shipped by air is also likely underpinning a portion of the strong performance.