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.

Belly capacity is currently three times higher than it was almost a year ago, during the belly capacity peak decline

However, belly capacity remains 54% below pre-COVID-19 levels.

Weekly international air cargo capacity, Feb 2020 - March 2021
Thousand tonnes

Chart showing weekly international air cargo capacity, February 2020-March 2021

Note: Direct international capacity only; All freighters and widebody passenger aircraft only, Date measured in UTC time; 1) Comparing capacity between 8 - 21 Mar 2021 to capacity 22 Feb – 7 Mar 2021; 2) Comparing capacity between 8 - 21 Mar 2021 to capacity the same weeks in 2019;

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

After a strong decline last year, microchips air exports are seeing a strong demand globally

Almost 50% of microchips air exports originate from China and Japan.

Chart showing microchips monthly growth 2020-2021 and the top 5 microchip exporters by air, 2020

Note: Microchips defined as semiconductor devices on the industry classification; 1) Share of total air microchips exports in 2020.

Source: “Global shortage in computer chips ‘reaches crisis point’” (CNN, March 2021), Seabury Cargo Global Trade database, Seabury Cargo, Accenture analysis (March 2021)

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