Fed Ex retains position as world’s busiest cargo carrier in IATA report

US integrator Fed Express has retained its position as the world’s busiest cargo traffic carrier in the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) World Air Transport Statistics (WATS) report.

Using figures from last year, Fed Ex topped the WATS list at 16,851 billion freight tonnes kilometres (FTKs), a 7.2 per cent increase on 2016. The top three remain the same as last year.

Further down, Qatar Airways is up to fourth from fifth, replacing Cathay Pacific Airways, while Cargolux is up one place, replacing Lufthansa in seventh. Air China is up to ninth from tenth, swapping positions with Singapore Airlines.

The likes of fast-growing AirBridgeCargo Airlines and Turkish Airlines are yet to make the top 10, but could well enter the table in the coming years as FTKs are growing fast.

Top 10 Cargo (FTK):

1) Federal Express                16,851 billion (2016: 15,712)

2) Emirates                            12,715 billion (2016: 12,270)

3) United Parcel Service      11,940 billion (2016: 11,264)

4) Qatar Airways                   10,999 billion (2016: 9,221)

5) Cathay Pacific Airways    10,772 billion  (2016: 9,947)

6) Korean Air                           8,015 billion  (2016: 7,666)

7) Cargolux                               7,322 billion  (2016: 6,878)

8) Lufthansa                             7,317 billion  (2016: 7,384)

9) Air China                              6,701 billion  (2016: 6,089)

10) Singapore Airlines            6,592 billion (2016: 6,345)

WATS also found that the average load factor across IATA airline members in 2017 was 49.6 per cent, up more than two percentage points on the 46.9 per cent in 2016.

Propelled by rising air cargo demand, the total FTKSs was 254,795 million and capacity measure in available freight tonnes kilometres (AFTKs) was 513,314 million.

The numbers in IATA’s WATS report are submitted directly to the association by approximately 270 international airlines.