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 27% last week compared to last year

Westbound Transpacific capacity declines -1% compared to last year. Asia Pacific – Europe declines by -34%. The Transatlantic remains -50% lower than last year. North America to Latin America cargo capacity decreased by only 8%.

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 23 – 29 Jun 2019, all dates measured in UTC; Source: Seabury Consulting, part of Accenture, Capacity Tracking database, Seabury Consulting analysis (July 2020)

North America - Latin America belly decline partially compensated by freighter increase

Belly capacity decreased by 81% compared to 2019, in line with the global average. The ~2,250 tonnes per week of additional freighter capacity compensates for 44% of the total belly loss. Brazil widebody belly capacity decreased on average 300 tonnes per day last week.

Chart displaying Concentration Index and change in cargo capacity market structure

Note: Showing absolute capacity changes larger than 105 tonnes; 1) Comparing outbound capacity to Latin America between June 21-27, 2020 with capacity in the week of June 23-29, 2019, dates measured in UTC; 2) Includes Latin American countries not highlighted in figures; Source: Seabury Consulting, part of Accenture, Capacity Tracking Database, Seabury Consulting analysis (July 2020)

The COVID-19 outbreak has reversed the China to USA trend caused by the trade war

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), medical equipment and working from home articles are the main drivers of the recent increase in imports from China. it is uncertain whether these changes will remain in the longer term.

Chart showing Europe air import growth from China

Note: 1) Wave I also includes earlier tariffs on steel and aluminum products; 2) Air trade tonnes lost after tariffs took effect; 3) The final wave of additional tariffs was postponed indefinitely after a phase one deal was agreed; 4) Tariff reduced to 7.5% in the first phase trade deal; Source: Seabury Consulting, part of Accenture, Global Trade database; Seabury Consulting Analysis (July 2020)

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