The Strategist

IATA: Global air cargo traffic is on the rise

11/04/2021 - 02:53

Global air cargo volume grew by 9.1% in September 2021 over the same period in 2019, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in a press release.

Public Domain Pictures
Public Domain Pictures
In August, the same growth rate was 7.5%, the release noted. September 2021 to September 2020 growth is estimated at 15.1%.

"Air cargo traffic grew by 9.1% in September to pre-summer levels. Supply chain side congestion is an advantage as manufacturers are turning to air transport because of speed. But severe load constraints continue to limit the ability of air cargo to meet additional demand," said IATA chief Willie Walsh. If these problems are not addressed, supply chain disruptions could slow the economic recovery in the face of a pandemic, Walsh said.

Meanwhile, air passenger traffic in September was down 53.4% from its pre-crisis (September 2019) level after an August drop of 56%. International air passenger traffic in September fell by 69.2% to September 2019, while domestic traffic fell by 24.3%. 

According to IATA, the strongest declines to pre-crisis levels were recorded in Asia-Pacific (-69%) and the Middle East (-65.9%). The decline in Africa was 61.4%, in Europe 50.3% and in Latin America 39.4%. North America saw the smallest decline, at 30.5%.

The association reports that the strongest growth in air cargo traffic in September compared to the 'pre-September 2019' was in Africa (32.8%), North America (22.6%) and the Middle East (17.6%). Countries in Europe saw a more moderate increase of 5.9%. Latin America and Asia Pacific recorded declines of 15.7% and 0.2%, respectively.

Including international air cargo traffic, the volume of international cargo rose by 9.4% by September 2019 and rose by 18.4% by September 2020.