Worldwide air cargo volumes returned to the pre-pandemic levels of H1-2019 in the first six months of the year with a 31 per cent volume growth over 2020 coupled with an even larger YoY revenue growth of 37 per cent in US dollars, according to WorldACD, a major supplier of market data on the air cargo sector.
Airlines, grouped by region, contributed very evenly to the return to 2019-levels. The two exceptions were the African airlines as a group (+28% Yo2Y) and the Europeans (-5% Yo2Y), said WorldACD in its report.
All airlines, grouped by their home base, did better away from their home region than in the home region itself. Unsurpisingly, all groups did best in business growth from the origin Asia Pacific.
The growth was impressive as in revenues it outperformed H1-2019 by 79% (and H1-2020 by 47%), it added.
According to WorldACD, the global air cargo market brought varying fortunes for different markets.
What a difference a year makes: comparing in detail air cargo’s performance for the first six months of 2019, 2020 and 2021, makes for fascinating reading, revealing how some market participants have done relatively well to extremely well, whilst others are not out of the doldrums yet.
June confirmed the trend seen in the last few months: considerable volume growth over 2020. The MoM yield drop of 84 USD-cents between May and June 2020 (from 3.95 to 3.11) did not repeat itself: this year the difference between June and May yields was 14 USD-cents (from 3.37 to 3.23).
Thus, June duly contributed to the YoY growth for the first six months of 2021: +22% in volume, +47% in airline revenues, stated the report.
The WorldACD’s Top-20 forwarders consolidated their position as a group (Yo2Y), but there were interesting differences depending on the origins of the forwarders in this group.
The top-forwarders from Europe did better than average comparing 2021 with 2020, but did not yet fully reach their 2019 market share, the report said.
The top-forwarders hailing from Asia Pacific improved considerably, registering volume growth of 47% compared to 2020, and of 18% compared to 2019, it added.
According to WorldACD, the regional Top-20 forwarders did better than the market in the smaller regions (Africa, C&S America and MESA), but lost considerable ground in Europe, benefiting the smaller forwarders.
GSAs as a group did better than the market as a whole (Yo2Y): their growth was particularly strong in Asia Pacific, a region traditionally depending less than other regions on GSAs.
Express air transport, normally used mainly for smaller shipments, expanded considerably over the past two years. Its total weight grew by 50% over 2019 and by 35% over 2020, it stated.
Even more tellingly, the average size of express shipments went from 233 to 418 kg in two years, thanks to the growth in e-commerce, it added.
As per WorldACD data, the special cargo grew more than general cargo compared to 2019 (+2% vs. -1%), but less compared to 2020 (+16% vs. +25%).
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