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After staging a comeback in March The spike in e-commerce, which is enjoying
2016, air cargo traf c volume has
continued to edge up. While growth has moderated from the high of 9.7 per cent reached in 2018, it is still trending up on global trade expansion and increase in cross-border e-commerce.
Speaking at the Cargo Handling Conference in Brussels in September 2018, McKinsey partner Ludwig Hausmann said that world trade growth is currently still running at a multiple of 1.4 times GDP growth, creating a baseline world trade growth of around 4.1 per cent annually. If the United States under President Trump were to expand on its “go it alone” trade policy by imposing tariffs on all trade partners, the multiplier will fall, perhaps to a multiple of 1.
“Trade that does not involve the US is still big enough,” Mr Hausmann noted.
strong double-digit gains, is bolstering growth.
Earlier fears of a modal shift from air to sea or rail transport have eased. McKinsey’s research indicated that currently 80 to 90 per cent of demand for air freight is not at risk of being lost to other modes. Over the next seven years possibly 10 to 15 per cent of the total cargo carried by air could make a switch to ocean freight, and 1 to 3 per cent to rail.
Concerns about the loss of signi cant volumes of air cargo to 3-D printing are also unfounded. Based on an analysis of the kinds of products which are suitable for 3-D printing, McKinsey concluded that between 2 and 5 per cent of cargo overall, and between 2 and 4 per cent of products currently carried by air, will be produced by 3-D printing by 2025.
Since 2016, the cargo business has been making a bigger contribution to airline revenues, helping to offset falling passenger base fares. As airlines open up new trade lanes to connect to ever more cities, the contribution of air cargo to economic development around the world has also increased. In 2018, airlines added over 1,300 new city pair connections, bringing the
total to more than 21,000. These connections have more than doubled in the last 20 years.
In the near term though, growth has eased, weighed down by geopolitical factors. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has revised its growth
forecast for 2019 downwards to 2 per cent from its earlier estimate of 3.7 per cent.
“Protectionism, trade friction, BREXIT, and anti-globalisation rhetoric are part of a genre of developments that pose real risk to our business...and broadly across the economies of the world,” IATA chief executive Alexandre de Juniac remarked at the 13th edition of the

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