supply chain

Boeing forecasts major growth in air cargo demand over next 20 years

21st November 2022

By: Rebecca Campbell

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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Major aerospace group Boeing has predicted that global air cargo traffic will increase by 100% between now and 2041. The company has released its ‘World Air Cargo Forecast 2022’, and also predicts that, over the same period, the number of freighter aircraft in the world will increase by 60%.

To meet growing demand, the global fleet of jet freighter aircraft will have to grow by more than 1 300 aircraft, to reach a total of more than 3 600 by 2041. To achieve this, plus to replace existing, older and less fuel efficient, freighters, will require the production of 2 800 freighter aircraft over the next two decades. Of these, 33% will be new-built freighter aircraft and 66% will be converted from existing airliners.

“While the air cargo market is returning to a more normal pace after historic demand in the last two years, structural factors including express network growth, evolving supply chain strategies and new cargo-market entrants are driving sustained freighter demand,” explained Boeing commercial marketing VP Darren Hulst. “In the global transportation network, air freighters will continue to be a critical enabler to move high-value goods, in increased volume across expanding markets.”

Of the new freighters that will be produced (both purpose-built and airliner conversions), 40% will be delivered to operators in the Asia-Pacific region. And, although freighter aircraft account for only 8% of the total global fleet of commercial aircraft, they carry more than 50% of all air cargo. (The remaining cargo is carried in the belly holds of airliners.)

Boeing can provide a range of both new-built and converted freighter aircraft. The former are denoted by the obvious suffix -F to their model number, such as the 777-8F, while the latter carry the suffix -BCF, standing for Boeing Converted Freighter, as in the case of the 737-800BCF. Boeing can also supply both 767F and 767BCF aircraft.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter




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