More evidence is in that air freight demand has turned the corner, and the
question now is how long the demand will last. That’s one possible conclusion to be drawn from the latest report from Airports Council International (ACI), the trade association of the world’s airports, which registered freight volumes rising by 8.3 percent, year-over-year in the first quarter of 2017 and 10.9 percent for the month of March.
ACI pointed to “improvements in business confidence, economic outlook and global trade,” which helped revive airfreight volumes in Q1 of 2017.
Rising demand for airfreight increased in conjunction with an increase in export orders and inventory build-ups in key markets. While less significant in terms of global volumes, Africa led the pack with a 12.4 percent quarterly increase in demand.
The Middle East, where demand has slowed since the heady aughts, saw quarterly demand rise by 10.2 percent, y-o-y. Europe’s low-euro-driven exports kept quarterly demand rising, at 8.4 percent, and Asia-Pacific’s strong numbers kept up, with 10.7 percent. y-o-y.
North America’s quarterly growth was 5.6 percent, y-o-y. Finally, Latin America Caribbean, which has slumped for years on the back of a regional economic downturn, finally put up some encouraging numbers at 2.2 percent y-o-y growth. Even more encouraging for Latin American air freight companies was a 4.7 percent increase in March volume that, while temporary, is a welcome sign of improvement.