The three different sources forecasting freight traffic growth are the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the analyst firm, Transport Intelligence and our sister publication, Air Transport World (ATW).
That the airline business is betting on international air cargo’s future was pointed out by ATW’s editor-in-chief, Perry Flint. He noted that new and converted freighters for moving cargo are hot commodities right now. In fact, as ATW notes, there are new product offerings from the major airline manufacturers soon to hit the market and several of them are large capacity freighters. While the most recent peak year for international air freight was 2004, when volumes were up a healthy 15.8%, such growth is thought to be an anomaly.
In its report on world air cargo volume, Transport Intelligence predicts an average growth rate, of 6% for the period from 2003 to 2023. Three reasons given for the optimistic view are that air cargo is becoming more cost effective, global trade is expanding faster than GDP and rapid air transport translates into local inventory being replaced by just-in-time delivery.