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Air cargo recovery speeds up in September, says IATA


THE latest statistics from IATA show that the speed of recovery in air cargo increased slightly in September, and this improvement is expected to continue throughout peak season.

Meanwhile, US-based carriers reported their first increase in demand for 10 months.

According to IATA, airfreight volumes measured in cargo tonne kms (CTKs) decreased by 8 per cent year on year in September - an improvement on the decline of 12.1 per cent seen in August.

Industry-wide cargo load factor (CLF) reached a record-high for September this year, up 10.6 percentage points versus a year ago to 56.9 per cent.

Meanwhile, global capacity, measured in available cargo tonne-kilometres (ACTKs), shrank by 25.2 per cent in September - a slight improvement on the 29.4 per cent decline seen in August.

The association said that it expects cargo demand to improve further due to e-commerce-driven events (Single's Day, Black Friday and Christmas) taking place in the next two months, as well as the launch of the new iPhone and PlayStation 5.

"As the world economy emerges from the [coronavirus] crisis, companies would be normally expected to turn to air as their preferred mode of transport to get inventories into their production facilities as quickly as possible," IATA said.

The association also suggested that global merchandise is expected to continue improving towards the end of this year, a conclusion based on the World Trade Organization revising its 2020 trade forecast from -12.9 per cent annual contraction to -9.2 per cent, reports London's Air Cargo News.

However, IATA acknowledge the uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 outbreak, especially as "many countries have been experiencing a second wave".

"Despite these positive developments, there is still a considerable uncertainty about how the pandemic plays out over the next months," IATA said.

It added: "The lack of cargo capacity remains one of the main obstacles for faster rebound in air cargo volumes."

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