08 September 2023


On 5 September, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) released its global air cargo data for July 2023. This release highlighted a consistent pattern of recovery in growth rates, a trend that has been ongoing since February.

In July, air cargo demand was remarkably close to the levels recorded the previous year, with just a 0.8% difference. This relatively stable demand in comparison to 2022 is a notable improvement, particularly in the context of recent declines in global trade volumes and growing concerns about China's economic situation.

In terms of cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs), the demand tracked at just 0.8% below the figures of July 2022 (-0.4% for international operations). This performance represents a substantial improvement compared to the previous month, which experienced a decline of -3.4%. Meanwhile, available cargo tonne-kilometers (ACTKs) capacity experienced a surge of 11.2% in July 2023 compared to the same month in 2022 (or 8% for international operations). This increase results from the growth in belly capacity, surging by 29.3% year-on-year due to the summer season. 

In Europe, air cargo volumes for carriers faced a 1.5% decline in July 2023 compared to the same month in 2022. Nevertheless, this is an improvement compared to the -3.2% decline observed in June. The reduction in volumes can be attributed to the performance of the Europe–North America route and contractions in the Middle East-Europe (-1.2%) and the within-Europe (-5.1%) markets. In contrast, the capacity increased by 5.3% in July 2023 compared to July 2022.

Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General, noted that air cargo demand remained relatively stable in comparison to July 2022, representing a significant improvement from the 3.4% decline observed in June. This trend of increasing demand, which has been ongoing since February, continues. However, Mr Walsh highlighted the need to monitor the future direction of this trend, as several factors impacting air cargo demand require attention. For example, key drivers, such as trade volumes and export orders, are currently displaying weakness or deterioration.

Source: IATA