Air cargo volumes are forecast to grow by 4.5 per cent next year, but prices are also set to rise, according to the International Air Transport Association.
It predicts that yields will rise by four per cent next year – down from the five per cent increase this year.
Explaining its predictions for the year ahead, IATA said: “The cargo business continues to benefit from a strong cyclical upturn in volumes, with some recovery in yields. Volumes are expected to grow by 4.5 per cent in 2018 (down from the 9.3 per cent growth of 2017).”
The boost to cargo volumes in 2017 was a result of companies needing to restock inventories quickly to meet unexpectedly strong demand. This led cargo volumes to grow at twice the pace of the expansion in world trade (4.3 per cent). Cargo yields are expected to improve by 4.0 per cent in 2018 (slower than the 5.0 per cent in 2017).
While restocking cycles are usually short-lived, the growth of e-commerce is expected to support continued momentum in the cargo business beyond the rate of expansion of world trade in 2018. Cargo revenues will continue to do well in 2018, reaching $59.2 billion (up 8.6 per cent from 2017 revenues of $54.5 billion).