India in the top 10 markets
According to the International Air Transport Association's industry forecast, India will be among the 10 largest international freight markets by 2018, followed by United States and China.
India has emerged as the second-fastest growing air cargo market after the Middle East and is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of about seven per cent over the next five years, an IATA forecast said.
India would also be among the 10 largest international freight markets by 2018 led by the United States supplying 10,054,000 tonnes and China with 5,639,000 tonnes, the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) industry forecast 2014-2018 shows.
It estimated that the second fastest-growing market, India, will experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8 per cent to add 622,000 extra tonnes.
Apart from the US and China, the remaining eight largest international freight markets would be the UAE (4,974,000 tonnes), Germany (4,763,000 tonnes), Hong Kong (4,648,000 tonnes), Republic of Korea (3,487,000 tonnes), Japan (3,480,000 tonnes), the United Kingdom (2,808,000 tonnes), Chinese Taipei (2,350,000 tonnes) and India (2,223,000 tonnes).
Noting that the global freight volumes were expected to rise annually around 4.1 per cent over the next five years, it showed the largest air freight traffic share last year was within the Asia Pacific (21.6 per cent) followed by the Europe-Asia Pacific (12.3 per cent) and the North and Mid-Pacific (10 per cent).
Observing that air cargo remained a vital pillar in the global economic system, Tony Tyler, Chief Executive Officer and Director General, IATA said, “More than USD 6.8 trillion worth of goods, equivalent to 35 per cent of total world trade by value, would be transported around the world by air in 2014.”
However, Tyler warned that despite the positive picture, the overall risks to the economic outlook, and therefore to air freight remains towards the downside. Trade protectionism is a constant danger.
He quoted World Trade Organisation data to show that between November 2013 and May 2014 alone, 112 new trade- restrictive measures were enacted by G-20 governments.
"Geopolitical concerns, volatility of oil prices and competition from rail and sea could also affect this forecast. The air cargo industry certainly cannot afford to be complacent," Tyler added.
IATA has announced that global air cargo volumes, measured by freight tonnes kilometres (FTKs), rose by 5.1 per cent in August, compared to the same month a year earlier. Capacity grew at a slower pace of 3.4 per cent from the previous year. This is the second strong month for cargo volumes in a row, following the 6.1% year-on-year rise recorded in July.