Boeing Report Forecasts Dramatic Pick up in Air Cargo Market

By Juliet Van Wagenen | October 7, 2014
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Boeing’s 747-8 freighter aircraft
Boeing’s 747-8 freighter aircraft. Photo: Boeing

[Avionics Today 10-07-2014] Boeing has released a report projecting air cargo traffic to grow at an annual rate of 4.7 percent over the next 20 years, with global air freight traffic expected to more than double by 2033.

World air cargo traffic took a hit after the global economic downturn of 2009 and continued to suffer as a result of lackluster commodity trade growth often serviced by the air cargo market. The market began to see growth again in second quarter of 2013 reaching 4.4 percent for the first seven months of 2014 compared to the same period a year earlier. If this trend continues, 2014 will be the highest growth year for the air freight industry since 2010, according to Boeing.

The new Boeing forecast shows Asia-North America and Europe-Asia will continue to be the dominant world air cargo markets with the most traffic volume. Intra-Asia, domestic China and Asia-North America markets are expected to have the fastest growth rates over the next 20 years.

With increased air cargo traffic, the world freighter fleet is also expected to grow with deliveries of 840 new factory-built airplanes and 1,330 passenger-to-freighter conversion airplanes. More than 52 percent of those deliveries are expected to replace retiring airplanes and the remainder used for fleet expansion.

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