Global air freight volumes are set to grow slowly but steadily over the next five years, according to the Air Transport Association (IATA) ‘Airline Industry Forecast 2013-2017, at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.2 per cent.
By 2017, it is thought that the top three largest air freight markets will be the US, China and Germany, in that order. Currently, China is in third place and Germany second, however it is estimated that China will add more than one million tonnes of freight between now and 2017, overtaking the German market in terms of size.
Behind the top three are Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Each of which will contribute over 700,000 tonnes of additional volume over the next five years.
However, despite the increased size of these markets they will not be the fastest growing areas during this period. That accolade goes to Africa, which will see a CAGR of four per cent from 2013-2017.
The inter-Africa market, is one of the primary main reasons for the regions growth, with a CAGR of 5.3 per cent.
Behind Africa, the Middle East, buoyed up by increased traffic from the UAE, and Latin America will have a CAGR of 3.8 per cent.
Asia-Pacific is where the next-fastest growth can be found, with a CAGR of 3.5 per cent over the next five years. There is a relatively large gap between this growth rate and that of the next-fastest, which belongs to the US with a CAGR of 2.7 per cent.
The slowest growth is to be found in Europe which, while forecast at 2.4 per cent over the next half a decade.
Although growth overall is forecast to be relatively slow, it is predicted across the board, indicating that a global recovery may finally be emerging.