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February 6th, 2018 New York

The double-digit growth recorded through most of 2017 added up to the strongest growth over a calendar year since 2010, IATA reported today, as freight tonne kilometers across the airfreight industry rose by 9 percent for the year, compared to 2016.

Last year saw improvement in world trade conditions generally, while resulting demand for manufactured exports and global restocking for retail were major factors in airfreight’s growth during the year. Airfreight FTK growth outperformed larger world trade growth during the year, which IATA attributed to year-on-year increases in new export orders for manufactured goods. Other supporting factors include strong consumer confidence and growth in e-commerce and pharmaceutical transportation.

WorldACD’s 2017 results, also released today, were similarly positive, indicating a 10.5 percent increase in general cargo for 2017. Cargo shipments from the Asia-Pacific and North American regions contributed especially to growth in December, which WorldACD reported at 4.5% y-o-y.

Looking ahead, IATA’s expectations for the first half of 2018 call for steady growth across the industry of around 4.5 percent. WorldACD was less willing to speculate and instead noted wisely: “It is difficult to make predictions, particularly about the future.”

For more in-depth coverage of the 2017 results, please visit our sister site Cargo Facts.