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 stabilizes at 26% down last week compared to last year

The stark contrast between trade lanes remains, trade lanes to and from Asia fare better than the global average. Eastbound Transpacific capacity grows 4% compared to last year and remains as the only trade lane to show air cargo capacity growth. Europe – Asia capacity declines by only -6%.

Total air cargo capacity growth, 17-23 May 2020 vs. same week last year

Note: Thickness of arrows is representative of January 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 19 – 25 May 2019, all dates measured in UTC; Source: Seabury Consulting Capacity Tracking database, Seabury Consulting analysis (May 2020)

‘Passenger freighter’ capacity increase plateaued during the last week

Global freighter capacity remained mostly stable during the last weeks, belly capacity increases 3% this week compared to last week, after strong increases in previous weeks.

Daily international cargo capacity, Feb-May 2020

Note: Direct capacity only; All freighters and widebody passenger aircraft only, Date measured in UTC time; 1) Corrected for day-off-week fluctuations, smoothened for clarification; 2) Comparing 17 – 23 May 2020 to 19 – 25 May 2019; 3) Comparing 17 – 23 May 2020 vs. 10 – 16 May 2020; 4) Freighter aircraft (excluding those operated for integrators and "passenger freighters”); Source: Seabury Consulting Capacity Tracking database, Seabury Consulting analysis (May 2020)

New ‘players’ have appeared in the world’s top 10 international cargo airports

ANC, MIA and LEJ rose to the top 10 airports worldwide, displacing SIN, LHR and DXB. Of the airports that have retained their place in the top 10, only ICN and PVG are receiving more capacity now than last year.

Top 10 airports by international cargo capacity, 17-23 May 2020 vs same week last year

Notes: Direct international capacity only. Top 10 airports ordered by total (inbound + outbound) capacity, includes freighters and widebody passenger aircraft. 1) Same week last year defined as 19 – 25 May 2019; Source: Seabury Consulting Capacity Tracking database, Seabury Consulting analysis (May 2020)

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