Year ends with quarterly improvement in air cargo volumes

15 January 2024

Year ends with quarterly improvement in air cargo volumes

The fourth quarter of 2023 was the first to show a volume improvement on 2022 levels, according to end-of-year figures from WorldACD.

Figures from the data provider show that air cargo volumes increased by 3% in the fourth quarter, compared with a 3% decline in the third quarter, a drop of 8% in the second quarter and a fall of 11% in the first three months.

WorldACD said the increase comes despite “all the uncertainties in the last months”.

Overall, volumes for the year were 5% down on 2022 levels but improved as the year progressed.

“While the first half of 2023 was still at -9%, the second half was characterised by an improving year-on-year performance for each consecutive month and closing at flat year-on-year growth,” the analyst said.

WorldACD said the year-on-year improvements in demand were driven by volumes heading out of Asia Pacific.

“Compared to this time last year, total global tonnages in weeks 50 and 51 remained at their elevated levels of +5% year on year – driven by a 14% year-on-year increase ex-Asia Pacific and a 12% rise ex-Middle East & South Asia, with demand ex-Central & South America also strongly ahead of last year (+8%),” WorldACD said.

“There remain significant decreases in tonnages ex-North America (-7%) and ex-Europe (-4%), year on year, although these are far less severe than the deficits reported in previous weeks, most notably ex-North America.”

WorldACD added that rates ended the year at 17% down on 2022 levels at an average of $2.54 per kg, although it added that prices are “significantly above” pre-Covid 2019 levels at a difference of 42%.

On the capacity front, there was an 11% increase in weeks 50 and 51 compared with a year earlier.

Capacity from Asia Pacific was up a “noteworthy” 25% as airlines continued to restart passenger operations following the easing of Covid restrictions.

“Other regions also show significant year-on-year capacity increases, led by ex-Middle East & South Asia (+10%), with capacity up +9% ex-Central & South America, ex-Africa, and ex-Europe, and with capacity ex-North America seeing a +7% recovery, year on year,” WorldACD said.

By: Damian Brett
Source: Air cargo news