The state of air cargo and global trade

The COVID-19 pandemic is a health and humanitarian crisis, and it is also an economic shock. We will be providing weekly updates throughout the COVID-19 crisis on air cargo capacity changes based on actual flight movements.

With our comprehensive, reliable and up-to-date demand and supply databases, Seabury Consulting, now part of Accenture's travel industry practice, is able to provide insights and data on air, express and ocean freight demand and capacity on a global basis.

Air cargo capacity declined 12% compared to the same weeks in 2019

The transpacific trade lane showed a strong increase in capacity in the last two weeks.

Graph showing total air cargo capacity growth, last two weeks vs same weeks 2019.

Note: Arrow thickness representative of May 2020 capacity, direct flights only; all flows indicate region-to-region capacity; regions are indicated by color coding; all dates measured in UTC; 1) Total cargo capacity includes international widebody passenger and all freighter flights; 2) Comparing capacity between 22 Mar- 4 Apr 2021 to capacity the same weeks in 2019;

Source: Seabury Cargo Capacity Tracking database, Seabury Cargo analysis (April 2021)

Trade lanes affected by the Suez Canal incident have not seen any fundamental shift in air cargo capacity the last weeks

Both freighter and widebody belly capacity have not shown material changes. A small fraction could still shift to air.

Chart showing potentially affected trade lanes, last two weeks.

Note: “'Pandemonium and disruption' – a boost for air freight from 'Ever Stuck’” (The Loadstar, March 2021) 1) Comparing 22 Mar – 4 April versus 2021 vs 8 – 21 March 2021

Source: Seabury Cargo Capacity Tracking Database, Seabury Cargo analysis (April 2021)

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