Boeing predicts solid air cargo growth

A FORECAST released by Boeing suggests that the worldwide air cargo market will grow about 14 per cent this year, return to peak 2007 levels by end-2011 and then grow by five to six per cent annually over the next 20 years.

The Boeing 2010 Current Market Outlook predicts average annual growth of 5.9 per cent from 2010 to 2029. Adjusted for the low base year of 2009, which pushes up the growth figure, air cargo will grow by 5.4 per cent annually on average over the next 20 years, the report said. The forecast assumes average annual global GDP growth of 3.2 per cent up to 2029, as well as passenger traffic growth of 5.3 per cent (or 4.9 per cent adjusted for 2009).

“Air cargo traffic is recovering after two years of contraction,” the report says. “Led by strong recovery in Asian exports, monthly world air cargo traffic growth turned positive in November 2009 after 18 straight months of decline. Air cargo traffic is now forecast to return to its 2007 peak by the end of 2011.”

Growth factors include expanding world trade, stringent inventory control standards, and increasing demand for transport of perishable and time-sensitive commodities.

This year, Boeing estimates that air cargo will grow nearly 14 per cent compared to the weak 2009 year. “The inclusion of the high-traffic growth levels in 2010, following the recession, is driving our cargo forecast upward,” said Randy Tinseth, vice-president of marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “However, the strength of the industry and its growth will continue to be driven by sound fundamentals: speed and reliability, consumer product innovation and global industrial interdependence.”

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