Global air cargo traffic is set to grow at a five-year cumulative annual rate of 3 percent, and the U.S. will remain the largest single market in 2016, the International Air Transport Association predicted.
International freight volume will reach 34.5 million metric tons in 2016, compared with 29.6 million tons in 2011, according to the IATA airline industry forecast for 2012-2016.
Annual growth will accelerate from 1.6 percent in 2012 to 3.7 percent in 2016.
IATA predicts the fastest growing markets will be Sri Lanka, with a cumulative annual growth rate of 8.7 percent, followed by Vietnam, 7.4 percent; Brazil, 6.3 percent, and India, 6 percent.
Five of the 10 fastest growing markets over the next five years will be in the Middle East-North Africa region, with Egypt growing by 5.9 percent annually.
The U.S. will be the largest market in 2016, with 7.7 million tons, ahead of the combined total for third-ranked China, with 3.5 million tons, and fourth place Hong Kong, with 3.2 million tons.
Germany will be the second largest market in five years at 4.2 million tons, with Japan fifth at 2.9 million tons.
The United Arab Emirates will take sixth place in 2016 with 2.5 million tons, ahead of South Korea, 1.9 million tons; the UK, 1.8 million tons, and India and the Netherlands, with 1.6 million tons each.
The Asia-Pacific region, which currently accounts for 40 percent of international air cargo traffic, will contribute around 30 percent of the expected total increase in tonnage over the period.