Boeing forecasts that demand for air cargo services would more than double by 2041, with traffic tripling and the world’s freighter fleet rising by more than 60%. At the Air Cargo Forum in Miami, Boeing revealed insights from its 2022 World Air Cargo Forecast (WACF), a biennial detailed analysis of evolving market dynamics. The 2022 WACF projects that the world’s cargo fleet will require nearly of 2,800 production and converted freighters for growth and replacement through 2041.

With cargo traffic doubling over the forecast period, operators will need to switch to more capable, fuel-efficient and sustainable jets like the 777-8 Freighter to meet demand, according to the forecast. A third of deliveries will consist of new production freighters, while the remaining two-thirds will be freighter conversions, such as the 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF), providing carriers with increased flexibility in existing and emerging markets.

Boeing’s cargo forecast assumes global trade growth continues at an annual rate of 2.8 per cent. Other influences on freighter demand include:
The inexorable growth in e-commerce and express networks to move packages.
New market entrants such as passenger airlines (Air Canada, WestJet and Sun Country) and ocean carriers (Maersk, CMA CGM and Mediterranean Shipping Co.) starting or growing cargo airlines to diversify their logistics offerings with a faster-service option.
E-commerce platforms like Mercado Libre in South America and Alibaba’s logistics arm establishing private airlines, using airline partners such as Brazil’s Gol, to expedite B2C and B2B deliveries.
Better competitiveness with ocean shipping as container lines become more disciplined managing capacity to maintain higher rates.