The International Air Transport Association (IATA) have now released demand growth results for global air freight markets for February 2018. Figures show a 6.8% increase in demand measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK) compared to the same period last year. Considering air freight growth also seen in January 2018, the start of the year has seen the strongest growth since 2015.
Available freight tonne kilometres (AFTK), which measures freight capacity, also grew by 5.5% year-on-year in February 2018. Demand growth was greater than capacity growth for the 19th consecutive month. Whilst this is a positive sign for airline yields, it may act as an upward force on air freight rates.
The continued growth in demand for air cargo is consistent with strong global trade performance, however escalation of protectionist measures seen in the US and subsequent response from China could impact this positive upward trend.
The above information has been sourced from Air Freight Market Analysis, February 2018.