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 28% last week compared to last year

The Transpacific and Latin America – North America are the only trade lanes that have consistently experienced single-digit declines in cargo capacity since mid-June. Air cargo capacity has decreased by 6.5 million tonnes between April and mid-July.

Map showing total air cargo capacity growth.

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) Same week last year defined as 30 Jun – 6 Jul 2019, all dates measured in UTC; Source: Seabury Consulting, part of Accenture, Capacity Tracking database, Seabury Consulting, part of Accenture analysis (July 2020)

Air trade lost almost 750,000 tonnes of air cargo in April and May

Demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) increased by over 250,000 tonnes in April and May combined compared to the same months last year.

Chart showing air trade growth.

Note: 1) Based on WCO HS classification reference for COVID-19 medical supplies; 2) Includes ADP machines, portables and laptop related equipment; 3) Comparing against same month last year; Source: Seabury Consulting, part of Accenture, Trade database, Seabury Consulting, part of Accenture analysis (July 2020)

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