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.

Global air cargo capacity declined 17% in the last two weeks compared to last year

Most trade lanes again show double-digit declines vs. last year. The Transpacific is the only trade lane that remained relatively stable. Latin America - North America air cargo capacity is back to double-digit decline.

Weekly international cargo capacity Feb 2020-Feb 2021

Note: Thickness of arrows is representative of May 2020 capacity in metric tonnes, direct flights only; all flows indicate region-to-region capacity; regions are indicated by color coding; 1) Total cargo capacity includes widebody passenger and all freighter flights; 2) 30 Dec 2019 – 12 Jan 2020, all dates measured in UTC.

Source: Seabury Consulting, Part of Accenture Capacity Tracking database, Seabury Consulting, Part of Accenture analysis (January 2021)

Air trade is almost back to 2019 levels as it dropped only 2% in November

Air trade demand recovers steadily despite capacity constraints; however, air trade is still highly affected by the strong declines in Q2 2020, with January to November 2020 air trade declining 10% compared to 2019. Demand for air freight has fallen much less than capacity, strongly increasing load factors.

Weekly international cargo capacity from Latin America to North America

Note: International air trade and international (direct) capacity only; Capacity for all freighter aircraft and widebody belly aircraft only; Source: Seabury Consulting, Part of Accenture Capacity Tracking and Global Trade databases, Seabury Consulting, Part of Accenture analysis (January 2021).

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