World Air Cargo Forecast


The Boeing Company issues the biennial World Air Cargo Forecast (WACF) to provide a comprehensive, up-to-date overview of the air cargo industry. The forecast summarizes the world’s major air trade markets, identifies major trends, and presents forecasts for the future performance and development of markets, as well as for the world freighter airplane fleet.

World air cargo traffic has struggled to maintain sustained growth since the end of the global economic downturn in 2008 and 2009. After bouncing back in 2010, then stagnating in 2011 and 2012, air cargo began growing again in mid-2013, even growing 4.8% in 2014. Growth accelerated in the first quarter of 2015, but, then traffic volumes remained flat for the rest of that year. Air cargo traffic gathered some strength after a weak first quarter of 2016, and is projected to return to trend growth by 2018. Despite the weak growth of the past decade, more than one-half of air cargo is still carried on freighters.

Data represented as historical in this document were compiled from many sources including, but not limited to: Air Cargo Management Group (ACMG), Airports Council International (ACI), the Airlines for America (A4A), the Association of Asia-Pacific Airlines (AAPA), the Association of European Airlines (AEA), Boeing Foreign Trade Database (TRADE), Eurostat, IHS Economics, IHS World Trade Service, the United Nations Council on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Clarkson Research Services Limited (CRSL), Drewry Maritime Research, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), China Statistical Bulletin, Statistics Canada, and the US Department of Transportation (DOT) Form 41. Our databases are revised regularly as individual sources revise their respective publications.

This document would not be possible without the efforts of several contributors. The Boeing World Air Cargo Forecast 2016/2017 production team included Boeing Commercial Airplanes Design Services, the Writing and Editing Services team, and our colleagues in the Market Analysis Group. Special thanks are due to David Franson for his diligent efforts on the world freighter fleet forecast. Many thanks are due to Naohiro Horie for his efforts to build our Airline Cargo Traffic Database (ACTD), a database on air cargo traffic that includes nearly 760 airlines, as well his research and authoring of the Intra-Europe and South Asia chapters. Matthew Kosmal researched and authored the Intra-Asia chapter. Heather Mozzoni researched and developed the Latin America–North America chapter. Jayden Lee researched and modelled our Africa chapter. Andrea Johnson researched and analyzed historical airline cargo revenues, as well as assisted in the development of the CIS and Europe–Latin America chapters.

The next update to the WACF will appear fourth quarter 2018. The authors welcome any questions or comments readers may have. All queries and suggestions should be directed to:

The Boeing World Air Cargo Forecast Team
Boeing Commercial Airplanes
P.O. Box 3707, MC 21-33 Seattle, Washington 98124-2207 USA

Fax: 1-206-766-1030

Tom Crabtree

Tom Hoang

Russell Tom

Gregg Gildemann

2015 air cargo growth by major market