New Freighter Forecast Released With Key Enhancement

  • jcherlin
  • April 25, 2017
  • Press

Expansion of Report to Include Large Turboprop and Regional Jet Freighter Fleets

The Number of Narrowbody Freighters to Continue to Increase Globally

NEW YORK, NY- April 24, 2017– ACMG, a leading global air cargo consultancy and parent of industry newsletter Cargo Facts, today released its 20-year Freighter Forecast for 2017 with yet more enhancements on top of those unveiled in 2016.

The report was released at the 5th annual Cargo Facts Asia event in Shanghai today.

For the first time, the Freighter Forecast projects the size of the large turboprop and regional jet freighter fleets over the next 20 years. These additions round out the forecast for the freighter fleet to be as comprehensive as possible.

Also, for the first time, the Freighter Forecast includes in its base-case the effect of the shift of cargo from freighter aircraft to passenger aircraft bellies.

The Forecast stresses the continuing growth in narrowbody freighters through freighter conversions of narrowbody aircraft, mainly to support burgeoning global e-commerce. The Forecast anticipates 1,178 narrowbody freighters by 2036, up from 656 at the end of 2016. By 2036, narrowbodies will account for about 43% of the total freighter fleet of 2,341 aircraft. That compares to about 40% narrowbodies in today’s fleet.

“The robust activity in freighter conversion of narrowbody types over the past four years has led to an increase in the quantity of narrowbody freighters in the global fleet,” said  Robert V. Dahl, Managing Director, ACMG. “This increase reverses a trend that began in 2000 through which the narrowbody freighter fleet decreased about 40% over a decade-long period.”

The report includes ACMG’s prediction for the freighter fleet make-up in 2036 by aircraft type, taking into account the assessment of new-build freighter production, passenger-to-freighter (P-to-F) conversion activity, and the retirement of freighters from the existing freighter fleet.

The 20-Year Freighter Forecast includes ACMG’s expectations for the fleet, and the aviation consultancy expects demand for freighter aircraft to continue trending higher, albeit not at the same rate as before the Great Recession.

“Much of the good news on the freighter market today is coming from the narrowbody sector,” said Robert V. Dahl, Managing Director, ACMG. “Will that continue? We are now in the fourth year of a narrowbody revolution, and with e-commerce continuing to fundamentally alter global retail consumption, narrowbodies will continue to be the big story in airfreight.”

The ACMG forecast is the only in-depth, independent assessment of future demand for freighters. ACMG’s forecast is unique in projecting fleet growth in five-year increments. Additionally, purchasers receive the Freighter Forecast Analysis Tool which allows users to test the sensitivity of the forecast results to future levels of demand growth, aircraft productivity enhancements, and to shifts in the portion of freight carried in passenger aircraft bellies. In sum, the tool allows purchasers to easily analyze how their own freighter-related activities would be impacted under various user-specified assumptions.

Go to to get more details or to order the newly released edition.



Founded in 1978, ACMG is a specialized aviation consulting firm, which focuses on freighter aircraft and all aspects of the worldwide air freight and express industry. ACMG is owned by New York-based Royal Media Group, a leading information services media company.

To obtain more information about the new forecast, visit or call (646) 572-7603. To order, please visit the URL or call (646) 837-5945.

Robert Dahl, an aviation analyst for 25 years, is available to provide expert commentary on the results of this report and on the air cargo industry, in general. Mr. Dahl can be reached at [email protected] or +1 206-971-2933. Alan Hedge, the co-writer of the report, can be reached at [email protected] or +1 206-801-8472.