The worldwide cargo market will grow 3 percent annually between 2013 and 2016, topping off at a global volume of 34.5 million tons, according to a report by the International Air Transport Association.
Last year, global cargo volumes finished at 29.6 million tons.
Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Brazil, India and Egypt are predicted to be the fastest-growing cargo markets. Asia-Pacific air cargo will account for 30 percent of the total cargo increase. By 2016, the United States will be the largest international cargo market by far,
followed distantly by Germany, China and Japan. Worldwide, passenger
activity will outpace cargo, with IATA estimating a yearly growth of 5.3
percent, reaching a peak of 8.6 billion passengers in 2016.
“Despite the current economic uncertainty, expected demand for
connectivity remains strong. That’s good news for the global economy.
Growing air transport links generate jobs and underpin economic growth
in all economies," IATA's Chief Executive Officer Tony Tyler said in a statement. "But exploiting these will require governments to
recognize aviation’s value with policies that do not stifle innovation,
tax regimes that do not punish success and investments to enable
infrastructure to keep up with growth."
The average cargo growth rate will be achieved slowly, according to IATA data.
This year is expected to bring 1.4-percent growth, with the air cargo
market expanding slightly each year and reaching a 3.7-percent growth
rate by the end of the forecast period. IATA's findings are in line with those in the industry who don't expect to be bowled over by cargo activity in 2013. Volumes will come back, but it will be a slow climb to the top.
"We don’t see anything particularly dire like the start of another recession, but we don’t see any particularly good news, either. We don’t see anything that looks like robust growth in 2013. We are hoping that we’re bottoming out," Air Cargo Management Group's Alan Hedge told American Shipper
Some industry insiders, though, seem at least a bit more rosy on prospects for the coming year.
"I am still optimistic that 2013 will be a rebound year for cargo," Nippon Cargo Airlines' Shawn McWhorter said. "We will see demand grow as consumer confidence increase." - Jon Ross