Transpacific airfreight capacity now ahead of last year

Cargo capacity on the transpacific trade lane is now higher than it was a year ago.

Figures from Seabury Consulting, part of Accenture, show that metric tonne cargo capacity from Asia Pacific to North America was last week 18% higher than a year ago, while in the opposite direction space for the week is 9% up on 2019 levels.

This comes despite the collapse of passenger — and therefore bellyhold – operations following the coronavirus outbreak. Meanwhile, rates on the trade continue to increase suggesting demand continues to outstrip supply.

Cargo capacity from Asia Pacific to Europe is also catching up on a year ago — in the both the westbound and eastbound directions capacity is only 4% behind the same week in 2019.

Seabury explained: “Belly capacity from China is recovering driven by passenger freighter flights and an increase of freighter capacity is compensating for lost belly cargo capacity; total cargo capacity increased 21,000 tonnes compared to the same week last year; The B777, B787 and A330 are the most popular aircraft for ‘passenger freighter’ flights.”

Meanwhile, airline freighter capacity is 28% higher compared to last year.

“After a consistent growth [at the start of the outbreak], [freighter capacity] now remains almost stable when compared with the two previous weeks,” Seabury said.

While the number of cargo carrying flights out of China appears to be increasing, globally capacity is still 25% down on a year ago.

Europe-South America is down by more than 80% in both directions, intra-Asia is 23% down, the transatlantic is 54% down eastbound and 61% behind in the westbound direction, Africa to Europe is 52% down while southbound the figure is 58% and South America-North America is 11% down northbound and 6% southbound.

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector.After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015.Contact me on [email protected]