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IATA Cargo Report For November 2023 Shows Strong Demand

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for November 2023 global air cargo markets, indicating the strongest year-on-year growth in roughly two years. This is partly due to weakness in November 2022 but also reflects a fourth consecutive month of strengthening demand for air cargo.

Global demand for air cargo, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs), increased by 8.3% compared to November 2022. For international operations, demand growth was 8.1%. 

Capacity, measured in available cargo tonne-kilometers (ACTKs), was up 13.7% compared to November 2022 (+11.6% for international operations). Most of the capacity growth is attributable to the increase in belly capacity as international passenger markets continue their post-COVID recovery.

Compared to November 2019 (pre-COVID-19), demand is down 2.5%, while capacity is up 4.1%.

Economic Indicators to Note  

The manufacturing output and new export order Purchasing Managers Indexes (PMIs) – two leading indicators of global air cargo demand—continued to hover just below the 50 mark in November, with small positive movements indicating a deceleration of the economic slowdown.

Global cross-border trade recorded growth for the third consecutive month in October, reversing its previous downward trend.
Inflation in major advanced economies continued to soften in November as measured by the corresponding Consumer Price Index (CPI), centering around 3% year-on-year for the United States, Japan, as well as the EU, in November. In the meantime, China exhibited negative annual growth in its CPI for the second time in a row.

Air Cargo Yields Rising

Air cargo yields and surcharges have significantly increased by 8.9% since October. This growth aligns with the improvement in air cargo load factors in recent months and may be attributed, in part, to the surge in e-commerce deliveries from China to western markets.

“November air cargo demand was up 8.3% on 2022—the strongest year-on-year growth in almost two years. That is a doubling of October’s 3.8% increase and a fourth month of positive market development. It is shaping up to be an encouraging year-end for air cargo despite the significant economic concerns that were present throughout 2023 and continue on the horizon,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

IATA air cargo market detail November 2023

Air Cargo Growth by Region in November 2023

Asia-Pacific Airlines
In November 2023, Asia-Pacific airlines experienced a robust 13.8% increase in air cargo volumes compared to the same period in 2022. This marked a significant acceleration from the previous month’s growth of 7.6%. The available capacity for the region’s airlines also surged by 29.6% from November 2022, as a result of the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions and the addition of more belly capacity.

North American Carriers
North American carriers saw a modest 1.8% year-on-year increase in cargo volumes for November 2023, showing a notable recovery from October’s -1.8% contraction. Furthermore, the capacity increased by 4.0% compared to the same period in 2022.

European Carriers
In November 2023, European carriers witnessed a solid 6.7% surge in air cargo volumes compared to November 2022, showcasing improved performance from the previous month’s 1.0% growth. Additionally, the capacity witnessed a 6.5% increase from the same period in 2022.

Middle Eastern Carriers
Notably, Middle Eastern carriers demonstrated outstanding performance in November 2023, with a remarkable 13.5% year-on-year increase in cargo volumes – mirroring the substantial growth noted in the preceding month. Moreover, the capacity increased by 15.4% compared to November 2022.

Latin American Carriers
Latin American carriers experienced a 4.2% increase in cargo volumes in November 2023, reflecting a similar performance to October’s. The capacity in November 2023 increased by 7.7% compared to the same period in 2022.

African Airlines
African airlines observed a 3.9% increase in air cargo volumes in November 2023, slightly exceeding October’s growth performance of 2.9%. In addition, the capacity was 14.0% higher than in November 2022.

IATA November Air Cargo Market Analysis

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