SINGAPORE: Global air cargo volume measured in freight tonne kilometres grew by 10.1 per cent year on year in the nine months to September, according to data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
A statement posted on the Centre for Aviation's (CAPA) website said that "it seems probable that full year growth in 2017 will exceed IATA's forecast of 7.5 per cent, making it the highest since it reached 19.4 per cent in 2010.
Growth in cargo traffic has been much faster than capacity growth, driving an increase in cargo load factor."
However, at just 44.4 per cent for the first nine months of the year, the cargo load factor should be seen as "unacceptably low", said CAPA. "But another way, this statistic means that air cargo supply is more than twice the level of demand. In passenger belly space the situation is even worse - only 27 per cent of capacity is typically filled.
"Little wonder that air cargo suffers from chronic yield weakness. This may be a relatively good year for air cargo, but it will not remove the huge structural overcapacity problem," CAPA warned.
In September world air freight traffic increased 9.2 per cent year on year, a deceleration from 11.6 per cent the previous month, prompting IATA to suggest that growth in air freight traffic may have passed its cyclical peak.