Despite concerns about a flagging postal service due to the existence of email, air cargo is doing better than ever. CAAS Magazine (Cargo Airports and Airline Services magazine) reported in July that 2017 so far has been a “fairytale” year for the airline industry.
The results of market data taken in May 2017 concluded that we’ve seen a 5% increase in air cargo transport since last year. The amount of air cargo transported in a given year is calculated by weight. E-commerce, including that which occurs on popular sites such as Amazon and Ebay, is largely responsible for this rise.
The International Air Transport Association put out a report in early March showing similar results. They reported that demand has also increased 6.9%. This was also measured by weight. According to the IATA, the Asia-Pacific region is performing especially strong in air cargo, currently holding 37.5% of the world share. Europe is next, with 23.5% of the world share.
Additionally, the IATA showed that there has been growth in all regions of the world except Latin America, which saw a 4.1% drop in the past year. The largest amount of growth was seen in Africa, where air cargo traffic increased by a whopping 24.3%. Europe and North America tied for second with 8.7% growth each — a much smaller number, but nonetheless very significant. Next was the Middle East up 8.4%, followed by the Asian-Pacific region. Excluding Latin America, the Asian-Pacific region, at 6.6%, which is likely due to the fact that it is already responsible for such a large amount of the air cargo transport we’re currently seeing.
One thing was have not seen is an increase in express air cargo. It seems likely that most customers shopping online are willing to wait the time it takes for their packages to arrive at the regular rate, rather than fork over large sums to get their products sooner. This is probably especially true for sites that offer free shipping (at the slowest rate) for purchases over a certain amount of money. This is an increasingly popular practice for e-commerce websites.
In conclusion, air cargo is not struggling in the Internet age. To the contrary, it is booming. E-commerce has created new demand for long-distance and overseas shipments and as a result, 2017 has so far been an incredibly successful year for the air cargo industry.