CLIVE Data Services: Airfreight volumes fell 23% in March

By Rachelle Harry

In its latest dynamic load factor analysis, CLIVE Data Services has revealed that global cargo volumes fell by 23% in March compared with the same four weeks of 2019.

The analyst suggests that this decline was due to “Covid-19 ‘raising its ugly head’ faster and faster in the air cargo industry”.

CLIVE Data Services reported that the decline in demand accelerated week-on-week throughout March, with the week ending March 29 showing that volumes were 50% less than what was moved in the same period in 2019.

The dynamic load factor for the four-week period of 68% represented a decrease of 1.5 percentage points compared with 2019; but an increase of 3 percentage points when compared with February. 

Niall van de Wouw, managing director of CLIVE Data Services, explained: “Sadly, there is no getting away from the overall concerning developments we are seeing in the global air cargo market, but there is perhaps a little bit of hope to be found in Asia — which was hit first by the outbreak of Covid-19.

“In previous data, we reported the step-by-step improvement on the Hong Kong to Europe market and this is continuing. The reported volumes for the last week of March 2020 were 26% higher than before the Chinese New Year started.

“If this is sustained, it will at least offer some hope for the rest of the industry of the speed with which air cargo traffic can recover after a very difficult time.”

CLIVE Data Services’ first-to-market analyses is based on data shared by a representative group of international airlines operating in various locations around the world. The load factor analysis is based on both the volume and weight perspectives of cargo flown and capacity available, and it gives the air cargo industry the earliest possible barometer of market performance each month.

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