Insufficient Capacity Dampens Air Cargo in August

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight markets in August showing that improvement remains slow amid insufficient capacity. Demand moved slightly in a positive direction month-on-month; however, levels remain depressed compared to 2019.

Improvement continues at a slower pace than some of the traditional leading indicators would suggest. This is due to the capacity constraint from the loss of available belly cargo space as passenger aircraft remain parked.

“Air cargo demand improved by 1.8 percentage points in August compared to July. That’s still down 12.6% on previous year levels and well below the 5.1% improvement in the manufacturing PMI. Improvement is being stalled by capacity constraints as large parts of the passenger fleet, which normally carries 50% of all cargo, remain grounded. The peak season for air cargo will start in the coming weeks, but with severe capacity constraints shippers may look to alternatives such as ocean and rail to keep the global economy moving,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

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