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February demand for air cargo surpasses pre-pandemic levels, says IATA

With a strong presence in the airfreight market, the U-Freight Group notes that IATA's latest report indicates that the global demand for air cargo in February surpassed pre-pandemic levels for the first time in eight months.The global demand for air freight, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs), only fell 7.5% compared to February 2022 and 8.3% for international operations, half the rate of annual decline registered in December -14.9%, and January-15.3%.Meanwhile, capacity measured in available cargo tonne-kilometers, ACTK, was up 8.6% compared to February 2022, marking a strong uptick due to the added belly capacity as passenger flight operations continue to recover.International belly capacity grew by 57.0% in February year-over-year, at 75.1% of the pre-pandemic capacity.Key factorsAccording to the report, the upturn in global demand for air cargo can be largely attributed to the continued increase of the global new export orders component of the manufacturing PMI in February. China’s PMI level surpassed the critical 50-mark in February, which indicates that demand for manufactured goods from the world’s largest export economy is growing, which is great news for U-Freight, with our portfolio of multimodal freight operations for imports into and exports from China as well as a network of offices and logistics hubs across the country.Moreover, global goods trade saw a slower decline in January at 1.5%, compared to the previous month’s -3.3%.In addition, the Consumer Price Index for G7 countries decreased from 6.7% in January to 6.4% in February, while inflation in producer prices saw a 2.2% drop to 9.6% in December.“The story of air cargo in February is one of slowing declines. Year-on-year demand fell by 7.5%. That’s half the rate of decline experienced in January. This shifting of gears was sufficient to boost the overall industry into positive territory (+2.9%) compared to pre-pandemic levels,” IATA’s Director General, Willie Walsh said, stressing that “an optimistic eye” could see the start of an improvement trend that leads to market stabilisation and a return to more normal demand patterns after “dramatic ups-and-downs” in recent years.You can find more information about the U-Freight Group’s international airfreight logistics services, as well as our China network, by visiting the relevant pages on this website, or speaking to your usual contact in our company.