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Air Cargo Market Size (USD 216.29 Billion by 2032) Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities

Jun 28, 2024 5:00 PM ET

Air Cargo Market Size (USD 216.29 Billion by 2032) Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities

The air cargo market size was valued at USD 140.94 billion in 2023. The air cargo industry is projected to grow from USD 146.69 billion in 2024 to USD 216.29 billion by 2032, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.97% during the forecast period (2024 – 2032)

The air freight industry has seen significant technological change in recent years, shifting from the usage of conventional mainframe systems to the adoption of highly flexible and cutting-edge interfaces for a wide variety of business procedures. In addition, the growing adoption of AI, robots, cool-chain technology, automated systems, deep learning, Big Data, augmented and virtual reality, and the Internet of Things (IoT) in a wide range of applications contributes to the expansion of the global air cargo market.

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Competitive Dynamics:

The major key players in the air cargo market in the global market use a variety of strategies to maintain their market position, including mergers and acquisitions, collaboration, setting up a new joint venture, establishing a partnership, developing a new product line, innovation in the existing product, developing a new production process, and many others to expand their customer base in the untapped market of the Air cargo across the globe. The following are some of the world’s most important companies in the air freight industry:

  • Qatar Airways (Qatar)
  • Etihad Airways (UAE)
  • International Consolidated Airlines Group, SA (UK)
  • All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd (Japan)
  • Deutsche Lufthansa AG (Germany)
  • Japan Airlines (Japan)
  • The Emirates Group (UAE)
  • Singapore Airlines (Singapore)
  • Cargolux (Luxembourg)
  • Korean Air (South Korea)
  • China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited (China)
  • Cathay Pacific Airways Limited (Hong Kong)
  • DHL International GmbH (Germany)
  • United Parcel Service of America, Inc. (US)
  • FedEx (US)

Market Drivers

In order to keep up with the expanding business needs of its customers, air cargo service companies are making significant technological advances in this area. The expansion of the online retail industry is bolstering these developments and providing future expansion opportunities for the market. During the current outlook period, the expansion of the Air Cargo Market will benefit from the rising volume of international trade.

Rapidly increasing demand for consolidated airfreight service and the time and cost savings that come with it will create significant growth prospects for the air cargo industry. However, the high price of air freight solutions may be a significant barrier for the global business in the years to come. But the increasing shipping of expensive goods like jewelry, electronics, perishables, and pharmaceuticals may boost the industry’s development rate in the coming years. In addition, the advent of temperature-controlled packing processes and the expansion of airline capabilities to handle chilled and frozen items with freighter and chilled storage capacity bode well for the future of the global market.

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Market Restraints

Crude oil is used for freight flights in the air. During the projected period ending in 2025, the increase in the price of crude oil is expected to impede global market operations. According to the forecasts provided by market analysts, the high price of shipping goods via air cargo could also be a hindrance to the worldwide expansion of the business. Due to its high cost, prudent utilization of crude oil necessitates substantial investment and infrastructure. Experts and executives in the business estimate that these factors will lower the market’s expected value.

Market Segmentation: Based on the Type

Based on service, the market has been classified as express and regular. The express service segment dominated the market in 2018 and is expected to register a higher CAGR during the forecast period. Growing number of e-commerce companies and rising demand for same-day delivery services by customers are boosting the segment growth.

On the basis of destination, the global air cargo market has been categorized as domestic and international. The domestic segment dominated the market in 2018. However, the international segment is anticipated to expand at a higher CAGR during the forecast period. Enhanced services provided by air cargo service providers such as fragile goods packing and availability of temperature-controlled biopharma logistics are driving the growth of the segment.

By end user, the market has been divided into retail, food & beverages, pharmaceutical and healthcare, consumer electronics, automotive, and others. The pharmaceutical and healthcare segment dominated the market in 2018 and is anticiapted to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Benefits offered by air cargo service providers such as specialized packaging and coolers for storage are propelling the segment growth.

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Regional Analysis:

Due to the rapid expansion of the e-commerce sector in countries like India, Australia, and China, the Asia-Pacific region currently accounts for the greatest proportion of the global market. The rapid expansion of the region’s economy and renewed emphasis on retail enactment have led to a dramatic surge in the demand for air freight in Asia and the Pacific. Considering the availability of a more cost-effective labor force, Asian countries are favored by international companies for the expansion of industrial operations. As a result, as the e-commerce industry has grown, distinct patterns of consumer behavior across the Asia-Pacific region have emerged. The increasing need for parcel delivery services across the Asia Pacific region is expected to fuel the air cargo market expansion in the future years.

Various industry main firms are headquartered in North America, which is why the region has the second-largest market share worldwide. A rise in disposable income per person is also a factor that fuels consumer demand.

The European market is expected to account for 3 percent of worldwide sales by 2025. This is due, in large part, to the region’s excellent technical infrastructure, which is the primary factor propelling consumer demand.

Neither Latin America nor the Middle East and Africa can boast a sizable part of the market. Both of these areas suffer from a lack of necessary infrastructure. Another factor that slows Air Cargo expansion in these areas is the low per capita disposable income.

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