Air cargo continues slow ascent in July says CLIVE

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Global air cargo volumes continued to show a “gradual, but consistent” month-on-month recovery in July. Globally these volumes increased by 8.0 per cent over June, according to the latest air cargo market analysis by CLIVE Data Services.

The growth in chargeable weight last month – normalised for the fact that July has one more day than June – also helped to further narrow the year-on-year decline in international freight volumes.

Clive July

July 2020’s performance was -20 per cent versus the same month a year ago, but CLIVE highlights this still reflects an improving monthly trend in the level of air cargo traffic compared to the -26, -31 and -37 per cent year-on-year gaps in April, May and June 2020 respectively.

CLIVE’s regional year-on-year ‘dynamic loadfactor’ analyses, for example, for week 31 (27 July – 2 August) shows:

  • +21 per cent points increase on the North America to Europe lane versus July 2019;
  • +19 per cent points on the Europe-North America lane;
  • +10 per cent points on the Asia-Europe & Middle East lane;
  • closing of the gap on the Europe & Middle East-Asia lane, -5 percentage points year-on-year, but continually getting closer to the market level of 2019 after a seismic fall earlier in the year.

CLIVE’s ‘dynamic loadfactor’ of 70 per cent in July – based on both the volume and weight perspectives of cargo flown and capacity available – represented a minimal decline of 0.6 per cent versus June 2020, but was still 8.0 per cent higher year-on-year.

Niall van de Wouw, CLIVE managing director says: “Our market analyses for July, especially compared to what we were reporting a few months ago, shows the gradual but consistent climb up the slope to recovery for the air cargo market is continuing.

“This is obviously no ‘V’ shape recovery, but even as additional capacity comes into the market with the return of more passenger services, cargo volumes are showing some reassuring resilience,” he says.

Van de Wouw notes that to put the 70 per cent dynamic loadfactor into perspective, the Christmas 2018 proper peak season stood at 68 per cent, while this past July, normally the slow summer period for the air cargo industry, exceeded that figure.

But he also warns that beneath this global average are, significant regional differences. The load factors to, and from Asia show a different pattern than the ones across the Atlantic, but this decline in load factor is mainly caused by increasing capacity. For example, Eastbound Atlantic capacity in the week of 27 July – 2 August was 10 per cent higher than in the last week of June, while the cargo volumes rose by “just” 4.0 per cent over that same timeframe, van de Wouw adds.Clive July

CLIVE’s air cargo industry intelligence consolidates data shared by a representative group of international airlines operating across the globe. Based on both the volume and weight perspectives of the cargo flown and capacity available, it uses weekly analyses to give the air cargo industry the earliest possible barometer of market performance each month.

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