Get a Quote


News & Media
Air cargo demand falls back below pre-Covid levels in March

With a strong presence in the airfreight market, the U-Freight Group notes that air cargo demand slipped back below pre-Covid levels in March after a volatile first quarter, according to the latest market data from IATA.Figures from the airline association show that air cargo demand in cargo tonne kms (CTK) terms declined 7.7% year on year in March, which is an improvement on the percentage declines registered for most of last year.However, IATA said that demand had slipped back into negative territory compared with pre-Covid levels after having shown an improvement in February.IATA figures show that CTKs in March fell 8.1% compared with 2019.“At this point, it is unclear if this is a potentially modest start of an improvement trend or the upside of market volatility,” IATA said.The airline association said that purchasing managers’ indices for new export orders and for China had both fallen below the 50-mark in March indicating declining confidence.There were also indications of high inventory levels, which does not bode well for air cargo.Meanwhile, cargo load factors in March slipped 8.8 percentage points from a year ago to 46.2%.IATA director general Willie Walsh said: “Air cargo had a volatile first quarter. In March, overall demand slipped back below pre-Covid-19 levels and most of the indicators for the fundamental drivers of air cargo demand are weak or weakening.“While the trading environment is tough, there is some good news. Airlines are getting help in managing through the volatility with yields that have remained high and fuel prices that have moderated from exceptionally high levels.“Looking ahead, with inflation reducing in G7 countries policymakers are expected to ease economic cooling measures and that would stimulate demand.”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.