MIAMI – Despite not having a peak season for demand in the fourth quarter, global air cargo ended 2020 on a ‘relatively high’ volume in December, Belgian aviation portal Aviation24 reported on January 6.

As stated in the portal, with CLIVE Data Services’ statistics, the last month of 2020 had “the first positive year-on-year growth in weekly volumes in over 12 months.” Volumes in the period between December 21, 2020 – January 5, 2021 “rose 8%,” when compared to the same period the previous year.

“Based on both the volume and weight perspectives of cargo flown and capacity available, the loadfactor reached a new high of 73% in mid-December, while week ending 3 January 2021 saw an unprecedented level for this time of year of 65%, 13% points above the corresponding week a year ago,” the portal stated.

MIA Cargo Ramp Photo: © Max Taubman – @maximumaviation

Closing the Gap


The latest data showed a continued closing of year-on-year volume gap to -5 percent versus December 2019, improving from a yearly low of -37 percent in April, as volumes rose 2.5 percent over November, producing an overall loadfactor of 71 percent for the last week of December.

CLIVE’s numbers also recorded a 2 percent increase in available capacity in December in comparison to the previous month, but numbers still remain -21 percent against the levels of cargo seen in the same period of 2019.

Managing Director of CLIVE Data Services Niall van de Wouw told the portal that “for an industry looking for every glimmer of positivity, December’s data provided some modest growth indicators,” adding that “December’s performance was surprisingly strong compared to the flattish level recorded in November and, in the second half of the month, volumes didn’t fall as much as we’d typically anticipate for this normally quieter time of year.”

Condor Cargo baggage. Photo: Condor Airlines.

Rise in dynamic Loadfactor


Van de Wouw considers the numbers logical for what has been going on.

“To outside observers looking at 2020, increasing airline revenues, at a time of decreasing volumes, may seem a contradiction. But it is logical considering the rise in the dynamic loadfactor, where demand and supply come together. It clearly demonstrates the reason why air freight rates have gone up and reemphasises the value of weekly data.”

“It allows companies to gain a better and quicker understanding of the way the market is trending and where it is rate-wise. In such a volatile business environment, this enables them to make better-informed pricing decisions to support their recovery,” van de Wouw said.


Featured image: Photo: Luca Flores/Airways