“Limited capacity and volatile rates” was the main headline for much of 2020 where the air freight market was concerned. As airlines canceled passenger flights and orders for PPE and essential supplies spiked, the cost to send goods via air freight hit new highs—and held firm for quite some time.
At the start of 2023, we’re seeing a different picture emerge. Capacity is recovering. An analysis from CLIVE Data Services revealed that, in February 2023, air cargo capacity finally rose above pre-pandemic levels. Volume in February 2023 was still below pre-pandemic levels, though—7% less in chargeable weight, as compared to 2019. And rates have fallen significantly YOY, although they still remain elevated above pre-pandemic (2019) levels.
As we consider all of these fluctuations in the air freight market, the question remains:
Where is the industry heading?
To help answer this question, we compiled the following air freight statistics. As you consider your mix of freight, these numbers can offer you some insights as you optimize your supply chain.