Demand for air cargo drops by 8% on last year

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The total volume of global air cargo transported in October 2022 has seen an 8% decline when compared with data from October 2021. This is according to a report by CLIVE data services, a subsidiary of Xeneta.

For the eighth consecutive month, demand for the transportation of cargo by air has dropped year-over-year. This gap between demand last year and this year increased by 3% from September to October.

While those within the industry were hoping for an early peak before the holiday season, this data suggests that might not be the case this year. Niall van de Wouw, Chief Airfreight Officer at Xeneta commented: “We are six weeks away from Christmas and there is no indication there will be a peak.”

In 2021, air cargo rates from Asia to the USA and the EU surged towards the end of the year. However,  rates on these routes have been steadily dropping throughout 2022,  only just beginning to plateau. This suggests that a significant spike may not be on the horizon as the year draws to a close.

Van de Wouw added: “I see very few signals that would support an increase in general airfreight in 2023 – be that because people have higher personal bills or because people are spending more on services relatively to goods.”

He also notes that the recovery of ocean shipping from its pandemic-related struggles has led to a drop-off in goods being transported by air, with distributors who switched to aircraft during the pandemic now returning to shipping via maritime vessels.

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