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 23% last two weeks compared to last year

Air cargo capacity slightly increased compared to the -26% decline for the previous two weeks. The Transpacific is back at 2019 levels. Global cargo capacity is at its highest level since mid-March.

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 01 – 14 Sep 2019, all dates measured in UTC;

Source: Seabury Consulting, Part of Accenture Capacity Tracking database, Seabury Consulting, Part of Accenture analysis (September 2020)

Middle Eastern trade lanes are driving the recovery of belly cargo capacity

Intra-Asia Pacific remains the largest trade lane, however growth since the peak decline week has been limited. Intra-Middle East and Middle East – Europe have seen the highest growth rates since the peak decline. The Transpacific and the Transatlantic have also seen high growth rates.

Chart showing active widebody belly capacity

Notes: International widebody passenger flights only; 1) Bidirectional trade lanes (inbound + outbound); 2) Showing the 7-day average. X-axis labels indicates end of the week; 3) Comparing 30 Aug – 12 Sep 2020 vs. 29 Mar – 04 Apr 2020; Source: Seabury Consulting, Part of Accenture Capacity Tracking database; Seabury Consulting, Part of Accenture analysis (September 2020)

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