May 2021: Airfreight Demand Back to Pre-COVID Levels But Capacity Remains Tight
Airfreight demand is back to pre-COVID levels but capacity remains tight, with volumes now at levels seen prior to the US-China trade war. When comparing figures from February 2021 with those in the same period of 2019 (comparisons between 2021 and 2020 monthly results are distorted by the extraordinary impact of COVID-19), Global capacity, which is measured in available cargo ton-km (ACTKs), has declined by 14.9%.
Government-imposed travel restrictions are a main contributing factor, and this crisis is lasting much longer than anyone could have expected. The reduced level of international flying has resulted in a 15% overall shortage of cargo capacity, which is straining supply chains and driving up rates.
Cargo airlines have added 30% more capacity by operating more pure freighters and running them at higher utilisation rates, but it isn’t enough to make up for the lost belly space in such a high-demand environment. The resumption of international passenger travel, which accounts for about two-thirds of airline revenues, is a key element for overall recovery.
The return to break-even levels has been made more difficult by the rising cost of jet fuel. IATA estimates jet fuel will average $69 per barrel, close to the 2019 average of $77 per barrel. Jet fuel is already adding to the high cost of air cargo as airlines pass on the extra expense in the form of fuel surcharges (FSC). Capacity is likely to return at a much slower pace than demand, as the airlines must take a cautious approach toward recovery; managing their rising debt during this critical stage will be paramount to their long-term survival and overall fiscal health.
Going forward, it is critical to understand how passenger demand will recover, as this is a key indicator of how much belly capacity will be available for air cargo. We are collaborating regularly with our carrier partners and our clients so that we are able to efficiently plan for and secure the capacity needed to uplift our clients' shipments and ensure that our air cargo operations can flex as necessary to manage through any spikes in demand.
August 2020: Delays on Tracked Postal into Australia
Delays are expected for tracked Postal going to Australia due to limited flights (only flying into Sydney). All destinations outside of Sydney are being accessed by road.
July 2020: International Postal Services Have Resumed
All international postal services have resumed, however, transit times have been affected due to the limited number of passenger aircraft traveling.
Economy Courier services outside of the trans-Tasman trade lane have been suspended – Express Courier services are still available.
Please contact our International Helpdesk for further information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 2020: Severe Impact on Commercial Postal Services
Due to the worldwide pandemic commercial postal services have been severely affected by the depleted number of flights traveling outside of the trans-Tasman trade lane. We are experiencing longer than anticipated wait times for flights into the USA.