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Asia-Pacific air cargo sector continuing 2024 boom

The IATA has released its May data for global air freight, and the industry continued the strong year-on-year growth experienced in 2024

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released its global air cargo market data for May 2024, which shows continued demand and growth for the industry across the globe.

Total demand – measured in cargo tonne-kilometres rose by over 14 per cent when compared to May 2024, and is the sixth consecutive month of double-digit year-on-year growth.

The Asia-Pacific market accounts for exactly one third of the air cargo market’s world share, and experienced an incredible 17.8 per cent year-on-year demand when compared to May last year.

The Asia-Africa lane was the biggest year-on-year riser in the market with a 40.6 per cent increase.

As worldwide demand and growth for air freight continues to skyrocket, capacity is also on the rise.

Available cargo tonne-kilometres rose 6.7 per cent year-on-year, with the rise being 10.2 per cent for international operations.

IATA Director General Willie Walsh says despite the industry experiencing immense growth over the last six months, tougher times could lay ahead for the Asia-North America trade lane.

“The outlook remains largely positive with purchasing managers showing expectations for future growth,” Walsh says.

“Some dampening, however, could come as the US imposes stricter conditions on e-commerce deliveries from China. Increased costs and transit times for shipments under $800 may deter US customers and pose significant challenges for growth on the Asia-North America trade lane – the world’s biggest.

“Air cargo demand moved sharply upwards in May across all regions. The sector benefitted from trade growth, booming e-commerce and capacity constraints on maritime shipping.”

ATN recently released an exlusive with RMIT professor Dr Vinh Thai on why maritime shipping is currently experiencing severe capacity constraints, which can be read here.

The view the IATA’s May Cargo Analysis, click here.

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