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 26% last week compared to last year

North America – Latin America decreases by only 7%. Transpacific Eastbound capacity grows 2% compared to last year; Europe – Asia capacity declines by -23%. Europe – Latin America capacity is still 75% lower than last year.

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 16 – 22 Jun 2019, all dates measured in UTC; Source: Seabury Consulting, Part of Accenture Capacity Tracking database, Seabury Consulting, Part of Accenture analysis (June 2020)

Passenger freighters out of China have decreased 30% since mid-May

Freighter capacity has been relatively stable since the peak in mid-May and declined slighty by -5%; the stronger decline in passenger freighter capacity is concentrated in China (PVG, PEK and CAN).

Chart displaying Concentration Index and change in cargo capacity market structure

Note: Passenger capacity includes widebody aircraft only, freighter capacity includes all freighter flights; 1) Referring to widebody passenger belly capacity. Source: Seabury, Part of Accenture Capacity Tracking database, Seabury Consulting, Part of Accenture analysis (June 2020).

Over 70% of air trade from Asia Pacific to USA now originates from China

China’s share of Asia to USA trade spiked in April after a strong drop in February, due to strong air trade demand for PPE and related products, which is expected to slow down in the coming months.

Chart showing Europe air import growth from China

Note: 1) Trade measured in metric tonnes. Source: Seabury Consulting, Part of Accenture Global Trade database; Seabury Consulting, Part of Accenture analysis (June 2020).

Contact us

Subscription Center
Stay in the Know with Our Newsletter Stay in the Know with Our Newsletter