Air cargo enjoys a 'stellar year'
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air cargo markets showing that full-year air cargo demand increased by 6,9% in 2021, compared to 2019 (pre-Covid levels) and 18,7% compared to 2020 after a strong performance in December 2021.
This was the second largest improvement in year-on-year demand since IATA began monitoring cargo performance in 1990 (behind the 20,6% increase in 2010), outpacing the 9,8% increase in global cargo trade. goods by 8,9 percentage points
“Air cargo had a stellar year in 2021,” said Willie Walsh, IATA Director General. “For many airlines, it provided a vital source of revenue as passenger demand remained stagnant due to Covid-19 travel restrictions. However, growth opportunities were missed due to labor shortage pressures and constraints throughout the logistics system. Overall, economic conditions point to a strong 2022.”
December saw an easing of supply chain issues allowing cargo growth to accelerate, it added.
“Some easing in supply chain constraints occurred naturally in December as volumes declined after peak shipping activity ended ahead of the Christmas holidays. This freed up capacity to accommodate the front-loading of some Lunar New Year shipments to avoid potential disruption to flight schedules during the Winter Olympics. And overall cargo performance in December was helped by additional warehouse capacity as airlines accommodated an expected boost to year-end travel," Walsh said.
As labor and storage capacity shortages persist, governments need to focus on supply chain constraints to protect economic recovery, it added.