Air Partner expects marginal demand growth and overcapacity in 2024

Pierre Van Der Stichele, vice president global cargo division, Air Partner. Photo: Air Partner

Charter broker Air Partner is expecting marginal growth in general cargo volumes this year while overcapacity is predicted to persist.

In an outlook for the year ahead, Air Partner vice president of global cargo Pierre van der Stichele, said he expected the general cargo industry to grow “marginally” by around 4-5%, although he added that a slow recovery in the global economy and geopolitical tensions may impede improvements.

The charter sector is expected to see ongoing humanitarian demand and capacity is expected to outstrip demand, he said.

“The overcapacity issues we saw emerge post-pandemic are expected to persist, forcing players in the industry to search for a harmonious balance between supply and demand while mitigating an imbalance of costs between the supplier and the customer,” said van der Stichele.

“Finally, with the ongoing humanitarian crises, there is potential for increased demand for long-term humanitarian projects that require chartering aircraft to help deliver aid solutions.”

On market challenges, he said that geopolitical tensions could result in the addition of new trade barriers.

“While the air cargo industry is very resilient there are some areas of concern that operators and companies will have to pay attention to over the next year or so,” he said.

“The first being increases in embargos and trade sanctions. This is a challenge we are constantly aware of, however with heightened geopolitical tensions, this is more prominent than ever.

“Similarly, international conflicts such as what is happening in the Middle East at present and Ukraine, and the potential risk of those conflicts expanding into other areas will present a challenge for the industry.”

Looking at Air Partner’s focus sectors for the coming 12 months, van der Stichele said the company would focus on its time-critical business.

He explained that the company was recruiting new team members for this area of the business and its on-board courier team.

“In addition, it won’t come as a surprise that the humanitarian sector will also be a key focus for Air Partner Global Cargo this year,” he added.

“The impact of climate change, geopolitical tensions and conflict, and continued health crises have all driven demand for humanitarian aid that requires best-in-class air cargo solutions.”

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector. After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015. Contact me on [email protected]