Airfreight demand growth slowdown ahead, says IATA

Growth in demand for airfreight will reach its slowest pace since 2016 next year, according to a new report from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The organization forecasts a 3.7 percent annual increase to 65.9 million tonnes in 2019, compared to the 4.1 percent increase it forecasted for 2018.

A pattern of slower growth has already begun to emerge. Among carriers, volumes have been a bit less robust than one might expect during peak season. The same pattern has also emerged among many major cargo airports. European airports including Frankfurt International Airport (FRA) and Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) have seen declining volumes off and on throughout 2018, while Pactl, the largest cargo handler at Shanghai’s Pudong Airport (PVG), has reported year-over-year declines in September, October and November.

Still, IATA noted that “easing fiscal policy, as well as still loose monetary policy, has kept economic growth growing close to its trend growth rate,” presenting a potential upside for the airfreight outlook, despite concerns from airline heads of cargo regarding global economic prospects. Another mark on the bright side, IATA anticipates 7.2 percent lower fuel cost rates next year compared to 2018, which will enhance the appeal of air cargo to prospective shippers.

Those interested in learning more about the state of demand for air freight are invited to join us at Cargo Facts EMEA, to be held Feb. 4-6, 2019, at The Westin Grand Frankfurt. Register before Dec. 14 to take advantage of early bird rates. To register or for more information, visit

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