After a period of economic uncertainty regarding the United States’ trade policy and risks related to the United Kingdom’s vote to withdraw from the European Union, global commerce is no longer sidelined, said Airports Council International (ACI), pointing to the rise in business confidence which has prompted a robust recovery in air freight volumes in 2017, increasing by 11.1 per cent year-on -year in May.
Air freight moving through Asia-Pacific airports during the month of May was up +10.8 per cent while the Middle East grew +8.4 per cent in May, according to the Airports Council International (ACI).
Exports continued to drive strong air freight growth in the Asia-Pacific: Hong Kong (HKG) +12.9 per cent, Shanghai Pudong (PVG) +15.6 per cent and Seoul Incheon (ICN) +8.8 per cent. In the Middle East, the pace of growth continued to soften. The largest hub in the region, Dubai (DXB) grew by +2.6 per cent. Doha (DOH) was the exception, delivering growth of +24.2 per cent for the month.
While all regions demonstrated high growth during that period, but Europe and North America presented the highest increases, with growth rates of 12 and 11.9 per cent respectively. Freight traffic numbers in North America were boosted by their largest freight hubs: Four of their top five airports in terms of cargo volume, representing 43.2 per cent of total cargo in 2016, posted double digit growth.
Anchorage (ANC), Louisville (SDF), Miami (MIA) and Los Angeles (LAX) all experienced increases between 11 and 13 per cent. Memphis (MEM), the largest freight hub of the region, grew 1.3 per cent. Domestic freight played an important role in that increase, surging 9.1 per cent in May after a period of stunted growth, illustrated by the 1.7 per cent year to date results.
In Europe, Istanbul (IST) continued on its recovery, posting 21.1 per cent increase in total freight traffic, while other freight hubs such as Amsterdam (AMS), London-Heathrow (LHR), and Leipzig (LEJ) also showed high growth at 12.3, 10.6 and 9.1 per cent respectively.