Air cargo growth slowed in 2018, says ACI

Doha moved from 1th to 11th in the ratings

Air cargo volumes grew just 3.2% in 2018, compared with 7.7% in the previous year, according to preliminary world airport traffic rankings released by Airport Councils International (ACI).

“The ongoing trade war between the United States and several of its closest trade partners was a shock for the industry and global supply chains,” said ACI world director general Angela Gittens.

Total air cargo volume at the 20 busiest airports – representing 42% of all global air cargo volumes – grew a modest 1.3% as they handled a combined 51m tonnes of cargo.

Of these: Hong Kong Airport remains the largest air cargo centre, handling more than 5m tonnes of cargo in 2018 and its volume growing 1.4% against 2017. Memphis Airport was in second place with growth of 3.1%, and Shanghai Airport was third, with a decline in cargo volumes in 2018 of -1.5%. Shanghai grew by 11.2% in 2017 but this decline shows that demand has softened.

Doha, Qatar’s main hub, continues to be one of the fastest-growing airports in the world for air cargo throughput and is also among the busiest. It moved from 16th to 11th in the rankings.

Gittens added that passenger traffic remains resilient, with India becoming the world’s third largest aviation market for passenger traffic, behind the US and China. “Indeed, ACI’s global medium-term forecasts reveal growth in demand for air services between 2018 to 2023 will grow by almost 30%. This means many national governments face the predicament of demand outstripping available airport infrastructure.”

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