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Worldwide air cargo volumes remained flat in January, reflecting the first month there was no year-on-year drop since the start of the pandemic (and even way before that), according to WorldACD’s latest report.
Worldwide rates per kilogram were 75 percent higher year on year, but dropped 8 percent lower than those recorded in December. Load factors in January slipped 2 percent points from the previous month but up 17 percentage points from January 2020, as capacity dropped 28 26 percentage points, sans integrators. The load factors on wide-body freighters gained 7 percentage points year on year, whilst wide-body passenger aircraft booked an increase of 22 percentage points.
Asia Pacific, the region considered to have recovered quickest from the pandemic, saw the top performers in January, up 12 percent year on year for outgoing volumes and 14 percent for incoming.
Vietnam and Japan each increased their outgoing volumes by more than 30 percent, closely followed by Taiwan, up 25 percent.
Outside Asia, only the United States managed to improve its performance as an air cargo origin (up 3 percent year on year), with the Midwest driving growth (up 13 percent). For the North American market, incoming shipments from Europe showed the highest year-on-year rate increase amongst all major markets at 147 percent.
Express cargo, high tech components and general cargo were the product categories showing year-on-year volume increase, with express shipments up 40 percent. In terms of changes in dollar rates, rates for flower shipments were up 18 percent for flowers, whilst rates for general cargo jumped 83 percent.
Ahead of the Chinese Lunar year, WorldACD noted that the first two weeks of February saw both volumes and capacity decrease, particularly from Asia Pacific, whilst rates continue the uptrend that started in the last part of January.