Air Cargo Market Size, Share and Growth Report 2028

Air Cargo Market Forecast to 2028 - COVID-19 Impact and Global Analysis by Type (Air Mail and Air Freight), Service (Express and Regular), and End User (Retail, Pharmaceutical & Healthcare, Food & Beverage, Consumer Electronics, Automotive, and Others)

Publication Month : Jan 2023

  • Report Code : TIPTE100001311
  • Category : Aerospace and Defense
  • Status : Published
  • No. of Pages : 173
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The air cargo market is expected to grow from US$ 123.90 billion in 2022 to US$ 175.24 billion by 2028; it is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.9% from 2022 to 2028.

The air cargo market ecosystem involves the physical as well as the documentary movement of freight from the origin (forwarder) to the destination (consignee). The flows of consignments are always indistinguishable; however, the agents involved in the process could be different.

Forwarder: A company that subcontracts to a third-party and manages cargo from origin to destination. The selection of the third-party agent depends on various factors, including product lifespan, cost of cargo shipment, nature of the cargo (perishable, temperature sensitive, etc.), level of seasonality, and economic cost of the air forwarding routes.

Forwarding agent: Intermediate responsible for required arrangements and/or offers complementary services for air cargo transportation and related services on the forwarder and/or consignee’s behalf. The decision variables for forwarding agents include the security level essential by the product, the level of dangerous goods that requires specific safety measures, the requirement of specific temperature during transport, special conditions in terms of special chambers, intermodal level at the origin and destination, and required documentation.

Air Cargo Market - 

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Air Cargo Market: Strategic Insights

Market Size Value inUS$ 123.90 Billion in 2022
Market Size Value byUS$ 175.24 Billion by 2028
Growth rateCAGR of 5.9% from 2022 to 2028
Forecast Period2022-2028
Base Year2022
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Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Air Cargo Market


In FY 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for air cargo across different regions had been driven by large transportation of medical and pharmaceutical products along with COVID-19 vaccines across different Asian countries. For instance, in 2020, Germany Airline’s cargo team was chosen to transport the Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines from Luxembourg, Amsterdam, Bangkok, Memphis, and other locations back to Taiwan. Furthermore, in 2020, the Chinese Airlines network was also used to transport vaccines to other countries. Such operations have driven the demand for air cargo services in Europe during the COVID-19 pandemic in FY 2020. Additionally, in 2021, several air cargo vendors have also partnered with different vaccine manufacturing companies to transfer, supply, and distribute the vaccines to other countries after the vaccine development in 2021. For instance, in 2021, DHL Global Forwarding UK and ANA partnered for the delivery of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine across the UK. Such developments have driven the air cargo market in the FY 2020-2021. Thus, the global air cargo market growth has increased during the FY 2020.

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Market Insights – Air Cargo Market

The huge demand for air cargo in Asia Pacific is attributed to the economic growth of the region and increased focus on retail enactment. Foreign players prefer Asian countries for the expansion of their manufacturing activities due to the availability of a cheaper workforce. Factors such as continuous urbanization, strong economic growth, and a large middle-class population create high domestic demand for fast-moving consumer goods, personal automobiles, household items, and luxury items. Additionally, companies in the e-commerce market opt for various logistic alternatives, including surface transport and air transport, to deliver items to their clients which is in turn catalyzing the air cargo market growth. Thus, with the flourishment of the e-commerce business, different purchase habits and trends have been noted in various countries in Asia Pacific. The proliferating e-commerce industry is likely to boost the air cargo market growth in Asia Pacific in the coming years with the rise in demand for parcel delivery services across the region.

Services-Based Insights

Based on services, the air cargo market size is bifurcated into express and regular. The regular segment, in terms of revenue, is expected to continue its dominance in the global air cargo market by 2028. A few of the factors driving the growth of the regular services segment are increasing air freight fleets across different regions. Majority of the cargo aircraft operators have been pushing their investments to increase their respective air cargo aircraft fleets. For this, the operators are focusing on implementing collaboration and aircraft lease strategies wherein the companies lease cargo aircraft models to serve many customers, which also allows them an opportunity to expand into new regions. Also, the air cargo operators that provide regular air cargo services are collaborating with aircraft OEMs to provide them with reliable aircraft products for their respective cargo operations. For instance, in May 2022, Lufthansa Cargo announced its plans to operate the Airbus A321F fly for the Group's subsidiary, Lufthansa CityLine. Such initiatives have been boosting the need for cargo aircraft fleet among the cargo operators that is likely to generate new opportunities for the air cargo market players during the forecast period.

The air cargo market size is derived on the basis of type, services, and end user. Based on type, the air cargo market is bifurcated into air mail and air freight. Based on services, the air cargo market is bifurcated into express and regular. Based on end user, the air cargo market is segmented into retail, pharmaceutical & healthcare, food & beverage, consumer electronics, automotive, and others.

The air cargo market players are mainly focused on the development of advanced and efficient products.

  • In 2022, Turkish Cargo announced that it has been investing in infrastructure and technology to provide flexible, cost-saving, and privileged shipment offers by means of three new air cargo service models that include TK SMART, TK PREMIUM, and TK URGENT.
  • In 2022, Dedicated booking tiers for cargo shipments were introduced by Cathay Pacific Airways Limited as part of a suite of priority choices for its customers. Customers will have more alternatives and clearer service options owing to shipping priority, including faster shipping, more capacity, and shipment assurance.
Report Coverage
Report Coverage

Revenue forecast, Company Analysis, Industry landscape, Growth factors, and Trends

Segment Covered
Segment Covered

Type, Service, and End User

Regional Scope
Regional Scope

North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, South & Central America

Country Scope
Country Scope

Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States

Frequently Asked Questions

Which country is holding the major market share of air cargo market?

The US is expected to hold a major market share of air cargo market in 2022

Which countries are registering a high growth rate during the forecast period?

India, the UK, and Japan are expected to register high growth rate during the forecast period

Which are the key players holding the major market share of air cargo market?

Cathay Pacific Cargo, UPS, DHL, Lufthansa, FEDEX Corporation are the key market players expected to hold a major market share of air cargo market in 2022

What will be the global market size of air cargo market by 2028?

The global market size of air cargo market by 2028 will be around US$ 175.24 billion

What is the future trend in the air cargo market?

1. Intelligent Cold Chain Solutions
2. Implementation of Several Software Solutions

Which is the fastest growing regional market?

Asia Pacific is expected to register highest CAGR in the air cargo market during the forecast period (2022-2028)

What is the estimated global market size for the air cargo market in 2022?

The estimated global market size for the air cargo market in 2022 is expected to be around US$ 123.90 billion

What are the driving factors impacting the air cargo market?

1. Rapid Adoption of E-Commerce Platforms
2. Constant Need to Transport Temperature-Sensitive Products

What is the incremental growth of the air cargo market during the forecast period?

The air cargo market is expected to register an incremental growth value of US$ 51.35 billion during the forecast period

Which is the leading air cargo type segment in the air cargo market?

Air freight segment is expected to hold a major market share of air cargo market in 2022

The List of Companies - Air Cargo Market

  1. ANA Cargo
  2. Cargolux
  3. Cathay Pacific Airways Limited
  4. DHL International GmbH (Deutsche Post DHL Group)
  5. Emirates SkyCargo
  6. Etihad Cargo
  7. FedEx Corporation
  8. United Parcel Service of America, Inc.
  9. Zela Aviation The Air Charter Company
  10. Lufthansa Cargo AG

The Insight Partners performs research in 4 major stages: Data Collection & Secondary Research, Primary Research, Data Analysis and Data Triangulation & Final Review.

  1. Data Collection and Secondary Research:

As a market research and consulting firm operating from a decade, we have published many reports and advised several clients across the globe. First step for any study will start with an assessment of currently available data and insights from existing reports. Further, historical and current market information is collected from Investor Presentations, Annual Reports, SEC Filings, etc., and other information related to company’s performance and market positioning are gathered from Paid Databases (Factiva, Hoovers, and Reuters) and various other publications available in public domain.

Several associations trade associates, technical forums, institutes, societies and organizations are accessed to gain technical as well as market related insights through their publications such as research papers, blogs and press releases related to the studies are referred to get cues about the market. Further, white papers, journals, magazines, and other news articles published in the last 3 years are scrutinized and analyzed to understand the current market trends.

  1. Primary Research:

The primarily interview analysis comprise of data obtained from industry participants interview and answers to survey questions gathered by in-house primary team.

For primary research, interviews are conducted with industry experts/CEOs/Marketing Managers/Sales Managers/VPs/Subject Matter Experts from both demand and supply side to get a 360-degree view of the market. The primary team conducts several interviews based on the complexity of the markets to understand the various market trends and dynamics which makes research more credible and precise.

A typical research interview fulfils the following functions:

  • Provides first-hand information on the market size, market trends, growth trends, competitive landscape, and outlook
  • Validates and strengthens in-house secondary research findings
  • Develops the analysis team’s expertise and market understanding

Primary research involves email interactions and telephone interviews for each market, category, segment, and sub-segment across geographies. The participants who typically take part in such a process include, but are not limited to:

  • Industry participants: VPs, business development managers, market intelligence managers and national sales managers
  • Outside experts: Valuation experts, research analysts and key opinion leaders specializing in the electronics and semiconductor industry.

Below is the breakup of our primary respondents by company, designation, and region:

Research Methodology

Once we receive the confirmation from primary research sources or primary respondents, we finalize the base year market estimation and forecast the data as per the macroeconomic and microeconomic factors assessed during data collection.

  1. Data Analysis:

Once data is validated through both secondary as well as primary respondents, we finalize the market estimations by hypothesis formulation and factor analysis at regional and country level.

  • 3.1 Macro-Economic Factor Analysis:

We analyse macroeconomic indicators such the gross domestic product (GDP), increase in the demand for goods and services across industries, technological advancement, regional economic growth, governmental policies, the influence of COVID-19, PEST analysis, and other aspects. This analysis aids in setting benchmarks for various nations/regions and approximating market splits. Additionally, the general trend of the aforementioned components aid in determining the market's development possibilities.

  • 3.2 Country Level Data:

Various factors that are especially aligned to the country are taken into account to determine the market size for a certain area and country, including the presence of vendors, such as headquarters and offices, the country's GDP, demand patterns, and industry growth. To comprehend the market dynamics for the nation, a number of growth variables, inhibitors, application areas, and current market trends are researched. The aforementioned elements aid in determining the country's overall market's growth potential.

  • 3.3 Company Profile:

The “Table of Contents” is formulated by listing and analyzing more than 25 - 30 companies operating in the market ecosystem across geographies. However, we profile only 10 companies as a standard practice in our syndicate reports. These 10 companies comprise leading, emerging, and regional players. Nonetheless, our analysis is not restricted to the 10 listed companies, we also analyze other companies present in the market to develop a holistic view and understand the prevailing trends. The “Company Profiles” section in the report covers key facts, business description, products & services, financial information, SWOT analysis, and key developments. The financial information presented is extracted from the annual reports and official documents of the publicly listed companies. Upon collecting the information for the sections of respective companies, we verify them via various primary sources and then compile the data in respective company profiles. The company level information helps us in deriving the base number as well as in forecasting the market size.

  • 3.4 Developing Base Number:

Aggregation of sales statistics (2020-2022) and macro-economic factor, and other secondary and primary research insights are utilized to arrive at base number and related market shares for 2022. The data gaps are identified in this step and relevant market data is analyzed, collected from paid primary interviews or databases. On finalizing the base year market size, forecasts are developed on the basis of macro-economic, industry and market growth factors and company level analysis.

  1. Data Triangulation and Final Review:

The market findings and base year market size calculations are validated from supply as well as demand side. Demand side validations are based on macro-economic factor analysis and benchmarks for respective regions and countries. In case of supply side validations, revenues of major companies are estimated (in case not available) based on industry benchmark, approximate number of employees, product portfolio, and primary interviews revenues are gathered. Further revenue from target product/service segment is assessed to avoid overshooting of market statistics. In case of heavy deviations between supply and demand side values, all thes steps are repeated to achieve synchronization.

We follow an iterative model, wherein we share our research findings with Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) and Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) until consensus view of the market is not formulated – this model negates any drastic deviation in the opinions of experts. Only validated and universally acceptable research findings are quoted in our reports.

We have important check points that we use to validate our research findings – which we call – data triangulation, where we validate the information, we generate from secondary sources with primary interviews and then we re-validate with our internal data bases and Subject matter experts. This comprehensive model enables us to deliver high quality, reliable data in shortest possible time.

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