IATA Air Freight Numbers Indicate a Soft Start to the Year


Stats point to a 14.9% decline compared to January of last year.

The recent numbers for January 2023 show that air cargo demand declined as economic challenges continue, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Global demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs), fell 14.9% compared to January 2022 (-16.2% for international operations).

Capacity was up 3.9% compared to January 2022. This marks the first year-on-year growth in capacity since October 2022. As for international cargo capacity, it increased 1.4% compared to January of last year.

Image Credit: IATA

Image Credit: IATA

“With January cargo demand down 14.9% and capacity up 3.9%, 2023 began under some challenging business conditions,” notes Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general. “That was accompanied by persistent uncertainties, including war in Ukraine, inflation, and labor shortages. But there is solid ground for some cautious optimism about air cargo. Yields remain higher than pre-pandemic. And China’s much faster than expected shift from its zero COVID policy is stabilizing production conditions in air cargo’s largest source market.”

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