Air cargo market steadily recovers

In July 2023, the global civil aviation cargo turnover was close to the previous year’s level: according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the decline had amounted to only 0.8% by July 2022, with a 0.4% decrease in the international cargo segment.

The truck traffic has been gradually recovering since the end of last year and the beginning of this year. Back in January, the cargo turnover indicated a decline of 16.8% compared to the same period last year, 9.4% in February, 7.7% in March, 6.6% in April, 5.2% in May, and 2.4% in June, according to the IATA materials.

The available capacity provided by cargo airlines to their customers has increased by 11.2% in July compared to July 2022. Such strong growth in the available capacity of cargo aircraft is explained by the increase in the volume of cargo transportation in the luggage compartments of passenger airliners (by 29.3% year-on-year) due to the summer season, the IATA analysts note.

The highest growth rates in the cargo turnover were demonstrated by African airlines, while North American carriers have been showing the most significant decline in the cargo traffic for the fifth month in a row. In Europe, the drop in the cargo turnover in July amounted to 1.5% compared to the previous year (in June, the decrease was observed at the level of 3.2%).

According to Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General, many fundamental drivers of air cargo demand (trade volumes and export orders) “remain weak or are deteriorating”, however, there are now reasons to be cautiously optimistic.