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No drop in air cargo volume in Jan, a first since pandemic

  • January 2021 is the first month since the pandemic started that there was no volume decline compared to the same month a year ago
  • Worldwide rates in January this year were 75% higher year-on-year
  • Outgoing volumes from Asia Pacific improved by 12% and incoming volumes expanded 14% from a year ago
  • Origins Vietnam and Japan each increased their outgoing volumes by more than 30%, closely followed by Taiwan with 25%

World air cargo volumes in January 2021 were the same as in January 2020, the first month since the start of the pandemic that there was no decline year-on-year, according to new data from WorldACD.

Worldwide rates per kilogram in January this year were 75% higher year-on-year, but were 8% lower than those in December. The worldwide load factor dropped by 2 percentage points month-over-month but increased by 17 percentage points year-on-year, thanks to a drop in capacity of 28 percentage points. The load factors on wide-body freighters gained 7 percentage points year-on-year, while wide-body passenger aircraft booked an increase of 22 percentage points.

Asia Pacific, the region to recover the quickest from the consequences of the pandemic, was the outstanding performer for the month, the air cargo data provider said.

Outgoing volumes from the region improved by 12% year-on-year and incoming volumes expanded 14%. The origins Vietnam and Japan each increased their outgoing volumes by more than 30%, closely followed by Taiwan (+25%).

Outside Asia, only the United States managed to improve its performance as an air cargo origin (+3% year-on-year), with the Midwest as the main engine of growth (+13%). For the North American market, incoming business from Europe showed the highest year-on-year rate increase of all major markets at +147%.

Express, high tech and general cargo were the product categories showing year-on-year volume increase, with express cargo up 40%. In terms of changes in rates, increases varied from +18% for flowers to +83% for general cargo.

Ahead of the Chinese New Year, the first two weeks of February saw both volumes and capacity decrease, particularly from Asia Pacific, while rates continue their upward trend that started in the last part of January.

Photo by Patrick Campanale on Unsplash

 

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