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IATA's 'poorly determined' cargo load factors leave observers stupefied
04 Aug, 2021

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.

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