Global Air Freight Market to Boom
IATA (International Air Transport Association) Economics has developed a new five-year air freight forecast covering the period 2018-22, which suggests a solid global freight tonne kilometers (FTK) growth of 4.9% on average over each of the next five years.
However, the recent pick-up in protectionist measures and the rising prospects of a global trade war present significant downside risks to the outlook and IATA Economics will continue to monitor the situation closely over the months ahead.
IATA’s forecasting framework is based on two key building blocks: the relationship between economic activity (global GDP growth) and global goods trade growth; and, in turn, the relationship between global goods trade growth and air freight volumes (measured in FTK).
Airfreight outperformed wider global goods trade growth in 2017 by the widest margin seen in seven years, driven in large part by the global inventory restocking cycle.
Crucially, IATA Economics expects that air freight will continue to outperform world goods trade over the years ahead—albeit more modestly than it did in 2017—helped in part by growth in sectors such as pharmaceuticals and e-commerce.