From March 2020 up to August, volume declined by 22% and the number of shipments dropped by 36% year-on-year.
However, revenues for August 2020 rose 37% year-on-year, thanks to rates that were 65% higher than the year before—rising to US$2.83 from $1.71 a year ago.
From March 2020 through August, revenues rose 34% year-on-year, and rates/yields increased by 73%, or from $1.77 to $3.06.
“This drastic shift in the market took place in a world which produced much less cargo capacity,” said the report. From normal capacity figures in February compared to a year ago, they have since changed dramatically. By June, available ton kilometers were down by 45% year-on-year, while in August, this figure still stood at -39%.
From March till August in all origin regions, average monthly yields/rates were highest in May and have come down gradually since then, noted WorldACD.
In August, origin region Asia-Pacific lost the least volume (-10%) from the same month a year ago, while the origins Europe and MESA (Middle East & South Asia) lost the most at -25% and -22%, respectively.
North America was the one region that could not compensate the year-on-year loss of volume in August with a sufficient rate hike. But month-over-month, revenues from North America went up just slightly (+0.3%) whilst worldwide revenues dropped by -1.4% month-on-month.
Meanwhile, for the first half of September, initial figures show that global volume remained at -17% year-on-year, while yields looked stable, similar to yields in August.
Of the top 40 markets in the world in 2019, nine grew in 2020 despite the pandemic, with the China East-USA Midwest increasing its volume by 30% year-on-year.
While there were no major changes in the market order, the Top 100 markets as a group improved their position, as they lost much less volume than the smaller markets. Thirty markets of the top 100 grew in 2020, 11 from Hong Kong and nine from different parts of China.
Special cargo outperformed general cargo in volume, with respective declines of -16% and -25% year-on-year, but the yield/rate for general cargo topped those for special cargo as a group for the first time, partly as a consequence of the many charter and PPE flights recorded under general cargo.
For charters, while volumes decreased from -34% to -25% in the top markets, shipments over 5,000 kilograms in these markets showed volume growth of positive 2%. And the larger the shipment size, the higher the year-on-year increase in yield/rate (ranging from +27% to +87%). The increase in express shipments was also by far the highest among the largest shipments.
In terms of capacity growth versus freight carried, the number of flights from the first week of July through the second week of September increased by 16%. The number of freighter flights increased by 2%, while passenger aircraft flights increased by 18%.
“Since June, monthly volumes have hardly been growing, and worldwide capacity growth is now outpacing volume growth,” said WorldACD.