Global air freight traffic grew 6.1% year-over-year in November, a new report from IATA shows.
This increase is higher than the 4.4% growth in October freight traffic levels. The numbers reflect growing business confidence and trade growth in the last three months at levels not seen since February 2011, the organisation says.
IATA expects air freight markets to continue to “improve slowly," however it notes that growth could be hindered by countries not distributing as many products beyond their borders.
“Business confidence has sustained an upward trend since mid-2013, and improvements in export orders over recent months appear now to be translating to a pick-up in world trade growth,” says the report. “But additional gains in trade growth have been limited by an increase in on-shoring, which if continued could suppress further acceleration in both trade and air freight.”
November freight volumes for airlines in the Asia-Pacific region increased 4.9% from a year earlier, influenced by growth in China and demand in North America and Europe for products manufactured in the region, says IATA.
Middle Eastern freight airlines saw a 16.5% increase in freight traffic, driven in part by economic growth of Gulf countries. European airlines recorded an 8% increase in traffic and has seen steady improvements for several months, says IATA.
North American airlines saw freight traffic grow 2.5% in November, however the rates of this growth are “significantly slower” than seen in the beginning of last year, says IATA.
Latin American carriers and African carriers saw freight traffic decline in November at rates of 0.1% and 1.2%, respectively.
Load factors declined throughout much of 2013 but appear to be improving, with November load factors growing 0.8% compared to October levels.
“Load factors are now finally above year-ago levels, supported by the improvement over the past two months, which could help alleviate downward pressure on cargo profitability,” says IATA.