Easley answers – International Air Freight Volumes

Full lockdown. Working from home. Remote learning. These are just a few of the many lifestyle changes that society had to embrace in April. As the first quarter neared its end, businesses panicked while attempting to survive the fallout. Along with the rest of the world, the air cargo industry was rapidly adapting to this new reality.

April experienced the biggest contraction of air freight volumes in recent history – an astounding 27.7% decline when compared to April of 2019. The IATA Air Cargo Marketing Analysis states: “This is the sharpest fall in the history of our industry-wide series started in 1990, worse than declines seen during the Global Financial Crisis (e.g. -23.9% in January 2009).”

This contraction can be explained by several factors, all stemming from COVID-19. Due to the virus, governments issued stay-at-home orders and travel restrictions. This caused manufacturing to dwindle across the world. And, when goods aren’t being produced, they aren’t being shipped

Business is Closed

Just as the coronavirus itself contributed to industry-wide declines, the policies implemented to combat the virus impacted the supply chain. For example, the cancelation of countless passenger flights led to a massive 42% drop in available air cargo capacity. The belly capacity of passenger flights dropped so much that there was a 15% uptick in freighters to compensate.

Between the virus itself, an economic standstill, and the disappearance of our social live, April perhaps saw the brunt of the pandemic. “Lockdowns, falling consumer income and the loss of manufacturing output undoubtedly mean that demand for air cargo was subdued that month (IATA).”

Though April was a trying time, we can commend the team for pushing through together. This experience truly has brought everyone at Easley closer together (but still 6 feet apart) 

Read the full report from IATA here.


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