COVID-19 has not yet had an impact on global freight figures, but IATA expects February’s data to reflect the developing situation.

Cargo

Global air cargo decreased for the tenth consecutive month in January, but not as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The latest figures from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) show that demand—measured in cargo tonne kilometers—fell 3.3% in January compared to the year ago period.

Capacity—measured in available cargo tonne kilometers (ACTKs)—increased by 0.9% year-on-year, making it the 21st consecutive month that capacity has outstripped demand.

Tough times are ahead. The course of future events is unclear, but this is a sector that has proven its resilience time and again

IATA said COVID-19 has not yet had an impact on global freight figures, but it expects February’s data to reflect the developing situation.

“There was optimism that an easing of US-China trade tensions would give the sector a boost in 2020,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

“But that has been overtaken by the COVID-19 outbreak, which has severely disrupted global supply chains, although it did not have a major impact on January’s cargo performance.

“Tough times are ahead. The course of future events is unclear, but this is a sector that has proven its resilience time and again.” 

In the regional markets, only Latin America and Africa posted growth in air freight demand compared to January 2019.

Carriers in Asia-Pacific and Europe were hit hardest by declines in year-on-year cargo growth, suffering contractions of 5.9% and 3.7%, respectively.

  • For the full regional breakdown, click here
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