The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight markets showing that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs) grew by 3.8 percent in 2016 compared to 2015. This was nearly double the industry’s average growth rate of 2.0 percent over the last five years. Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs), increased by 5.3 percent in 2016.
All regions, with the exception of Latin America, experienced positive freight growth in 2016. Carriers in Europe accounted for almost half of the total annual increase in demand.
After a weak start to 2016, global freight volumes recovered in the second half of the year. A strong peak season, an increase in the shipment of silicon materials and a turnaround in new export orders contributed to the later uptick in demand. The early timing of the Lunar New Year (in January 2017) may also have helped push demand higher in December.