14 January 2022


On 11 January, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air cargo markets showing slower growth in November 2021. Supply chain disruptions and capacity constraints appear to have impacted demand, despite economic conditions remaining favourable for the sector.

According to the published figures, global demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometres (CTKs), was up 3.7% compared to November 2019. This was significantly lower than the 8.2% growth seen in October 2021 and in previous months. Capacity was 7.6% below November 2019, remaining relatively unchanged from October. Capacity remains constrained with bottlenecks at key hubs.

IATA comments that economic conditions continue to support air cargo growth, however, supply chain disruptions are slowing growth. Several factors should be noted, including labour shortages, partly due to employees being in quarantine, insufficient storage space at some airports and processing backlogs exacerbated by the year end rush created supply chain disruptions. Several key airports, including New York’s JFK, Los Angeles and Amsterdam Schiphol reported congestion.

Global goods trade rose 4.6% in October (latest month of data), compared to pre-crisis levels, the best rate of growth since June. Global industrial production was up 2.9% over the same period. The recent surge in COVID-19 cases in many advanced economies has created strong demand for PPE shipments, which are usually carried by air.

Source: IATA