International freight volumes are expected to grow 17 percent over the next five years, according to the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) "2013-2017 Airline Industry Forecast."
“Air cargo is a key enabler for the movement of high-value products and perishable goods around the globe. More than $6 trillion worth of goods is air freighted annually, accounting for around 35 percent of total world trade. But more recently, the relationship between international trade and GDP has broken down, owing to rising trade barriers and ‘on-shoring’ of production. The successful conclusion of the World Trade Organization talks in Bali potentially could be very important in kick-starting trade growth. To be ready to take best advantage of possible opportunities, air cargo needs to work together as an industry to improve its competitiveness and enhance the quality of its service to customers,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and chief executive officer.
International freight volumes are expected to grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.2 percent, and by 2017, the five largest international freight markets will be the United States, China, Germany, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates.
Hong Kong and the UAE will both contribute more than 700,000 tonnes each to the additional freight volume during the period ending in 2017. Freight carriage within the Asia-Pacific region will account for around 31 percent of the expected total increase in freight tonnage over the period.
Africa is forecast to be the fastest-growing region over the forecast period, with a growth rate of 4 percent CAGR. Not far behind Africa are the Middle East and Latin America, both with a CAGR of 3.8 percent, and the Asia-Pacific at 3.5 percent each year, followed by Europe and North America at 2.4 percent CAGR and 2.7 percent CAGR, respectively.
Vietnam is expected to be the fastest-growing country for air freight volumes over the forecasting horizon, with a yearly CAGR of 6.6 percent, followed by Bangladesh (5.7 percent CAGR), Brazil (5.5 percent CAGR), Ethiopia (5.3 percent CAGR) and Peru (5.2 percent CAGR).