Global air freight increased 14.4 percent in October from a year ago and got a peak season shipping boost with the first month-on-month increase since May, the International Air Transport Association reported.
The rise in October shipments was marginally weaker than the 15.5 percent increase recorded in September but up slightly on a seasonally adjusted basis, and demand remains 1 percent above the pre-crisis levels of early 2008, the airline industry group said.
Carriers also maintained their strong drive to bring back capacity that had been idled in the downturn, with available freight space up 11.1 percent over October 2009, including a 10.4 percent advance in capacity in North America. October marked the sixth straight month of double-digit capacity growth worldwide.
The freight market may have reached a turning point toward more normal shipping patterns with October traffic rising after declining by 5 percent since May, IATA said. “But a single month does not make the trend. And it remains to be seen if this is the stabilization in freight volumes or the start of an upward trend,” said IATA Secretary-General Giovanni Bisignani.
Air cargo demand increased 24 percent over the first 10 months of the year from the same period in 2009 while capacity grew just 9.2 percent, a gap that has helped push air freight pricing up sharply through most of the year.
North American airlines cargo volume grew 12.2 percent in October and European carriers’ traffic was up 12.1 percent.