Figures and Trends of airfreight development to and from Germany


Germany is the export champion of the world – and it has earned this title primarily on account of its exports via overland routes within the EU. Airfreight exports, however, have also contributed their part to producing these excellent results. Accordingly, in 2008 the USA was by far Germany’s most important trading partner with respect to airfreight exports. Yet as of this spring, little remained of the USA’s competitive edge over China. Seabury predicts that by 2018, China will have overtaken the USA for the top position, outperforming them by a clear margin.

India will assert itself in third place. In contrast, Brazil and Japan, ranked just behind the top three nations in 2008, will lose ground. Fast climbers are South Korea, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

The development of rising airfreight tonnage suggests a positive trend in the sector in the coming years. Whereas the top ten countries forwarded around 817 million tonnes in airfreight in 2008, by spring this year the volume had risen to 967 million. In its forecast for 2018, Seabury anticipates an even more significant increase to around 1.25 billion tonnes.  Consequently, the USA and China will considerably extend their lead in other markets.  

Irrespective of any economic downturns, China will remain the most important home market for airfreight imports to Germany. As the Seabury experts predict, the country will extend this lead considerably by 2018.

The USA will hold its ground in second place. While Japan and India were ranked third and fourth in 2008, by spring 2013 they had swapped positions. Projections for 2018 show that the current sequence will remain unchanged.

There will be ascenders and descenders in the Far East. While South Korea, Vietnam and above all Bangladesh will make visible gains, Taiwan will drop in the rankings. This trend is also predicted for Brazil. Turkey, by comparison, is forecast to defend its seventh place.

After a slight decrease, the overall perspective for imported airfreight tonnage is showing a very positive development. In 2008, the top ten markets at the time imported 688 million tonnes. By spring of 2013, the tonnage had dropped to only 635 million. Comparatively, Seabury projects a significant increase to 760 million tonnes by 2018.