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.

After rebounding nearly 18.5% in 2010 over the depressed levels of 2009, world air cargo traffic slowed again in early 2011, eventually finishing down 1% relative to year 2010. As of this writing, air cargo traffic has contracted roughly 2%, according to 2012 year-to-date statistics. More worrisome is the slowing long-term growth trend. Since 2001, world air cargo traffic has only grown 3.7% per year. The global economic downturn, rising fuel prices, and improving surface transport mode options have dampened air cargo growth. On the other hand, long-term projected economic and international trade growth, the continuing globalization of industry, increasing adoption of inventory-reduction strategies, and ongoing renewal of the world freighter fleet with more efficient capacity should help world air cargo traffic growth return to a rate closer to historic norms.

Data represented as historical in this document was compiled from many sources including, but not limited to, the Air Cargo Management Group (ACMG), Airports Council International (ACI), Airlines for America (A4A), the Association of Asia-Pacific Airlines (AAPA), the Association of European Airlines (AEA), Boeing Foreign Trade Database (TRADE), Eurostat, IHS Global Insight, the United Nations Council on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Clarkson Research Services, Drewry Maritime Research, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), China Statistic Yearbook 2009, China Statistical Bulletin, Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, and US Department of Transportation (DOT) Form 41. Historical information is updated each year 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 2012-2013 production team included the Creative and Information Services Group design, production, and web teams; the Writing and Editing Services team; and our colleagues in the Market Analysis Group. Many thanks are due to Mr. Kensuke Sakaki for his research efforts on the North America, intra-Europe, Africa, and Europe-Asia chapters. Ms. Merve Guvendik provided valuable insight on the Turkey air cargo market and cross-checked individual airline-reported traffic statistics for the Appendix.

The next update to the WACF will appear fourth quarter 2014. 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
P.O. Box 3707, MC 21-33 Seattle, Washington 98124-2207 USA

Fax: 1-206-766-1030

Tom Crabtree

Jim Edgar

Tom Hoang

Russell Tom

Bradley Hart