International Air Freight

International Air Freight

Trade disruption caused by tariff wars — such as the dispute between the US and China — or the UK’s exit from the European Union, extreme weather, and unpredictable consumer demand are all factors that have increased the need for emergency shipments that can only be sent via air, rather than by slow-moving maritime containers. Another factor is the surge in sales of time-sensitive e-commerce parcels that must be delivered by air to meet the needs of ever more demanding customers.

Driven by greater uncertainty and the growing popular of electronic commerce, global air cargo shipments increased by 9.7 in 2017. And yet air cargo tonnage growth slipped to less than half that pace [3.5 percent] in 2018, measured in freight tonnage [not value], according to the International Air Transport Association. In North America, growth has slowed to a similar level [3.2 percent last year.]

Although e-commerce shipments are robust, they also generate challenges for the air cargo sector: Products ordered online take up more space when shipped in their individual packaging than other products that are more often packed onto pallets. Other uncertainties are sudden flare-ups in congestion, rising fuel prices and higher trucking rates. Moreover, only 30 to 40 percent of air freight is planned and shipped by choice, say air cargo executives. The rest is shipped by accident, when the market changes suddenly, machines have broken down, or other emergencies force shippers to bear the extra cost.

Commentary

To avoid the dreaded stockouts while meeting customer expectations for fast delivery and product variety, shippers are steadily consuming more air freight capacity.

News & Analysis

15 Jan 2018
The space-choked China-US air freight routes may see rate levels reach incredible highs as demand overpowers supply ahead of Chinese New Year.
14 Dec 2017
Strong and sustained air cargo volume pouring through Europe is having positive and negative effects on the airport gateways.
13 Dec 2017
Global air logistics leaders say their focus for 2018 continues to be on technology and processes.
11 Dec 2017
Freight rates for air cargo are rising steadily and space is at a premium with no slowing of demand.
06 Dec 2017
Peak season demand is using up all available capacity and pushing up rates to unheard of levels.
24 Nov 2017
Holiday orders up 20 percent, strong demand reported from airlines and logistics providers — the good times continue to roll for the air cargo business.
22 Nov 2017
These are the best of times for the global airline industry but look like the worst of times for UK carriers and airports as they sweat over Brexit.
18 Nov 2017
Shippers are scrambling for space on aircraft and paying more for their cargo as robust volume in Asia-Europe and Asia-North America trades quickly mop up available capacity.
14 Nov 2017
The sales figures surrounding China's Single's Day are predictably large, but the online shopping promotion continues robust 2017 e-commerce demand that is driving up air cargo volume.
10 Nov 2017
Netherlands airport hub Schiphol is considering a government proposal aimed at solving its landing rights crisis impacting all-cargo flights.
04 Oct 2017
Peak season still on the way.
08 Sep 2017
Hurricane Irma’s arrival this weekend threatens to roil US supply chains and seriously impact trucking rates.
08 Sep 2017
July’s performance was the third straight month of double-digit gains.
30 Aug 2017
An early peak season is expected in the air cargo sector.
11 Aug 2017
Heathrow continues to outpace growth at Frankfurt airport.
02 Aug 2017
All regions posted growth.
31 Jul 2017
Schiphol’s second-quarter results are the latest in a string of strong performances by European airports and cargo airlines.
28 Jul 2017
First-half traffic grew 1.2 percent to 330,000 tonnes.
26 Jul 2017
Air cargo growth for Asian carriers in June continued its robust growth on the back of solid international trade.
16 Jul 2017
Nittsu Research Institute and Consulting Inc. has revised upward its fiscal year outlook for growth in Japan’s air cargo trade.
12 Jul 2017
Europe’s fourth-largest air cargo hub handled 142,349 tonnes.
05 Jul 2017
All regions except Latin America posted double-digit growth.
25 May 2017
The strong growth in air cargo volumes out of Asia has continued through April, driven by international demand.
27 Apr 2017
Japan’s international air cargo trade will rise for the second successive year.
26 Apr 2017
March was a good month for the Asian air cargo industry, with the recovering markets accelerating further on rising regional import-export activity.
18 Apr 2017
European airlines accounted for half of the increase in global air cargo traffic to a five-year high in 2016.
23 Mar 2017
BCOs are looking to air freight as an alternative to shipping cargo from North Europe to Asia as ocean space remains tight.
06 Mar 2017
The global air cargo rally continued into 2017.
07 Feb 2017
The increase will be the second consecutive year of growth.
06 Feb 2017
The global air cargo market grew to a five-year high in 2016 but is facing threats.
03 Feb 2017
Central American producers to expand their markets by extending the shelf lives of perishable shipments.
26 Jan 2017
Europe’s cargo airports are outperforming its ocean container ports.
24 Jan 2017
Cathay Pacific has relocated its cargo-handling operations in Frankfurt to Lufthansa Cargo’s terminal at Europe’s biggest air freight hub.
07 Dec 2016
Global air cargo traffic grew at the fastest rate in 18 months in October, driven by several one-off factors, including the collapse of Hanjin Shipping.
16 Nov 2016
Cargo volumes have been robust out of Asia in the last two months, with carriers and airports reporting decent increases.