Data indicates air cargo increasingThe International Air Transport Association recently released its cargo traffic numbers for November 2012, which indicated air transit may be on the rise. Air freight increased 1.6 percent when compared to November 2011, after experiencing a year-over-year decline in October. This indicates more firms could have taken advantage of the cargo transit method during the final months of the year. However, those considering air transport as a vital component in their supply chain should proceed with caution when relying on only one transit method.

"November brought some positive signs for air transport demand - particularly for air cargo," said Tony Tyler, director general and CEO of IATA. "It is premature to consider this a turning point for air cargo markets in terms of bouncing back and regaining lost ground. But, when coupled with positive economic developments in the US and an improvement in business confidence in recent months, the conditions are aligning to see a return to growth in 2013. In 2013 we expect that cargo volumes will grow 1.4 percent, and passenger traffic will increase by 4.5 percent worldwide."

Regional growth
Volume was up significantly in certain regions, with Asia-Pacific and Middle Eastern carriers showing strong growth when compared to other areas. Asia-Pacific airlines contributed to a huge increase in volume, seeing a monthly jump of 2.4 percent. Middle Eastern carriers experienced even more growth and showed the strongest increase of any region. Carriers in the area saw 16 percent growth with just a 6.1 percent gain in capacity.

North American carriers managed to increase their traffic by 1.7 percent, but did cut capacity by 0.6 percent compared to the previous year. European traffic was flat, and capacity expanded by only 0.3 percent.

While Latin American carriers increased their capacity by 8.5 percent, freight increased by only 4.2 percent. African freight carriers upped their capacity by 3.6 percent and managed to increase cargo volume by 4.4 percent.

Logistical options
Air freight has remained popular because of its ability to quickly move large amounts of product from one side of the world to another, as companies seek quick, efficient and reliable supply chain logistical systems. Others may prefer to focus more on ocean freight and trucking operations, methods that are slower but sometimes more cost effective for firms investigating potential business cost reduction strategies. However, as air freight continues to gain traffic, more companies may invest in this transit method to ensure their products hit the market in a timely fashion.
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