Airport cargo demand continues to grow in April

22 / 06 / 2017

Airfreight volumes at airports continued to increase during April, following a more “subdued period of growth” in 2016.

The latest figures from industry body Airports Council International (ACI) show that cargo demand improved by 6% year on year during April (see chart at end of article).

The fastest growing region in April was Asia Pacific, just ahead of Africa and Europe. Latin America registered the lowest growth rate.

While the global growth rate for April is something that hubs could only of dreamed of last year, it does signify a slowdown from the first quarter rate of 8.3%, which is also reflected in airline demand figures for the month.

The airport body said the growth came despite uncertainty around trade in the UK and US.

It said: “Despite the backdrop of uncertainty on global trade and economic integration in the US and the UK, two of the world’s largest aviation markets, business confidence remained strong.

“International trade continued to make gains on the cyclical recovery in the global economy, which translated into robust growth in air freight volumes.

“The ongoing strength in export orders across several manufacturing sectors for high value goods resulted in continued high growth levels.”

ACI said that the world’s major freight hubs with significant loaded freight for exports saw their overall volumes jump in April.

Shanghai, Incheon and Hong Kong grew 14.1%, 11% and 8.9% respectively year on year for the month.

Looking at performance over the first four months of the year, total global airfreight demand at airports has increased by 7.7% compared with the same period last year.

The fastest growing region during this period was Africa as its hubs registered cargo growth of 12.6% against a year earlier.

In the Asia Pacific region there was a 10.1% improvement, European hubs continued their good run of form with growth of 7.7%, the Middle East increased by 7.6%, North America 5.2% and Latin America 2.3%.

The world’s largest airfreight hub, Hong Kong International, said its cargo growth of 8.9% for April could be attributed to export growth of more than 14%.

Amongst the key trading regions, North America and Europe increased most significantly in the month, it said.