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2023 final quarter demand drives air cargo higher

The U-Freight Group, which has a strong presence in the expedited international airfreight business, notes that airfreight markets rebounded on the back of growing demand in the fourth quarter of 2023 according to the latest data released by IATA.Its latest data report shows that the global airfreight market demand rebounded in 2023 with a particularly strong fourth quarter performance, despite economic uncertainties. Demand for the full year reached a level just slightly below 2022 and 2019.Global full-year demand in 2023, measured in cargo tonne-kilometres (CTKs), was down 1.9% compared with 2022 and compared with 2019 it was down 3.6%.Capacity in 2023, measured in available cargo tonne-kilometres (ACTKs), was 11.3% above 2022 levels and up 2.5% compared with 2019 (pre-Covid-19 levels), according to IATA.However, performance during December 2023 was “exceptionally strong” with global demand rising 10.8% above 2022 levels, marking the strongest annual growth performance over the past two years. Global capacity was also 13.6% above 2022 levels.Global cross-border trade recorded growth for the third consecutive month in October, reversing its previous downward trend, according to the IATA report.IATA director general Willie Walsh said, despite political and economic challenges, 2023 had seen air cargo markets regain ground lost in 2022 after the extraordinary post Covid-19 peak in 2021.“Although full year demand was shy of pre-Covid levels by 3.6%, the significant strengthening in the last quarter is a sign that markets are stabilising towards more normal demand patterns,” said Walsh.“That puts the industry on very solid ground for success in 2024. But with continued, and in some cases intensifying instability in geopolitics and economic forces, little should be taken for granted in the months ahead.”For more information about the U-Freight Group's global air freight forwarding and logistics services, please visit the relevant pages of this website or contact your local office, details of which can be seen here: