Cargo stays resilient despite January challenges

Cargo volumes stayed stable in January as the industry continued to cope with challenges in the new year, CLIVE Data Services reports.

The data says chargeable weight was 0.1% above January 2021 and 0.2% above 2019.

Capacity was 4% below 2019 but 6% above 2021, with dynamic load factors at 62%, one percentage point above 2019 and six percentage points below 2021.

Rates remain high, 156% above pre-Covid levels and 41% above 2021, but the gap with pre-pandemic levels declined month-on-month for the first time in six months, down from 168% in December.

Niall van de Wouw, now Chief Airfreight Officer of analytics platform Xeneta following its acquisition of CLIVE, says: “We see this as a respectful start to 2022 by an air cargo market still dealing with uncertainties caused by Covid, as sick-leave and quarantine rules continued to affect many industries and countries. We can see that the global air freight supply chain remains fragile, with airlines cancelling flights upfront because of the lack of crew.”

Covid was not the only disruption in January, which included 5G concerns in the US, extreme winter weather, and Chinese New Year beginning two weeks earlier than last year.

Van de Wouw says: “Measured against all these factors, January’s performance shows there is still a good degree of resilience in the global air cargo market.”