Air Cargo Management Group’s newly-released International Air Freight andExpress Industry Performance Analysis2006 provides a detailed assessmentof the international air cargo/expressindustry and the companies that competein this evolving market. Publishedannually since 1994, this 200-pagestudy provides the only comprehensivequantitative and qualitative independentanalysis of the US$71 billion globalair cargo industry. ACMG’s new reportshows that the industry grew at a midsingle-digit rate in 2006, which meansthat global traffic levels are up nearly36 percent since the unprecedenteddecline that took place in 2001.
"This growth over the five-year periodmatches the long-term industry-widegrowth rate of 6 percent per year," saidRobert Dahl, ACMG project director."Furthermore, we find that the revenuefor industry participants (airlines,forwarders, and express companies)now exceeds $71 billion per year." Therevenue total was pushed up by trafficgrowth, higher fuel surcharges, andcurrency exchange rate trends.
Looking forward, ACMG said itbelieves that a long-term air freightgrowth rate of 6 percent is achievable,leading to significant future growth inair freight traffic, and the use of large-capacity freighters.
The backlog for new and convertedwide-body freighters stands at over 250units, which is indicative of the optimismof the companies involved in thisindustry, Dahl added. However, ACMGis concerned that high oil prices and uncertaintyregarding the global economywill keep air freight growth at 4 percentto-6 percent in 2007, and only slightlybetter, at 5 percent-to-7 percent, in 2008.Not surprisingly, ACMG finds that expresscompanies continue to play a moreprominent part in the international airfreight market. The latest analysis showsinternational express volumes grew 9.5percent from mid-2005 to mid-2006 toreach 2.267 million shipments per day.The leading participants in terms ofmarket share are DHL, FedEx, UPS,and TNT.
Trends to watch in the industry inthe coming year include continuingconsolidation in the airline, express, andfreight forwarding segments, althoughshippers are showing resistance to theidea of the one-stop-shop, preferringto use multiple suppliers for their globaltransportation and logistics needs.Another concern is the potential shiftof high-value goods to ocean transportas shippers seek ways to avoid the highfuel surcharges for air freight.