Date: 17.09.2020

Air freight peak season surge

With passenger flights significantly and severely reduced on most trade lanes, scarcity of air cargo space is ongoing, spot prices are entirely unpredictable and the market, in constant flux, is preparing for a major peak season from Asia.

Data from aviation analyst Cirium shows that 3,762 wide-body aircraft, more that 40% of the global fleet, are currently parked, removing close to 100,000 tons of belly capacity from the market. 

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is not expecting passenger demand to return to pre-COVID-19 levels before 2024, as high levels of COVID-19 infection persist around the world, keeping air cargo capacity tight for the short term. 

With Golden Week just over a fortnight away, at Metro we have been securing air cargo capacity ahead of what we expect to be a tight peak season, as rates start to rise.

Our award winning air freight products and continued communication with the airlines will assist Metro in delivering a reliable and consistent service through this peak season.

The upswing in air freight demand has largely been driven by retailers and general cargo and a surge has to be expected as the hi-tech new product launch volumes begin filtering through.

With the lack of passenger services, a mix of ‘Preighter’ (converted PAX) and pure freight services are the backbone, which means that the summer and winter schedule changes will not be the same as in the years before. 

We will likely see changes to cargo capacity, as airlines are deciding faster on flights and the number of rotations to be added or reduced.

With revenues from passengers down, in the most important trade lanes like Asia, we are likely to see peaks surge driven by reduced capacities, rather than significantly growing volumes (with the exception of the tech product-launches and any vaccine-supply).

If you have any questions regarding these developments or would like further information, updates, or the latest market pricing please contact Chris Carlile or Grant Liddell.