Frustrated airfreight shippers will be astonished to discover that cargo flights in 2020 were only half-full - according to IATA data.
In a year when demand for air freight capacity grew exponentially in the second quarter, as governments booked-out flights to carry PPE and forwarders struggled to find capacity, IATA said the lack of bellies "led to a capacity crunch, with the industry-wide cargo load factor up 7.1 percentage points to 53.9%. This is the highest value in the IATA series started in 1990".
Rates for the year, meanwhile, were some 56% higher than in 2019, suggesting that, in fact, it was a sellers' market and flights were unlikely to have been just half-full. Capacity was down 21.2% on the previous year.