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Air cargo and logistics in full recovery mode from COVID-19

The devastating effects of the pandemic are turning into a distant memory as the logistics and air cargo sectors have completely bounced back.

Following the recession in February last year, the logistics industry has received 61.1 points in February according to the Australian PSI economic indicators – an 8.6 point jump from last month.

Meanwhile, the air cargo sector also received a high score on the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) – coming in at 53.5 in January.

Over 50 points indicates growth, expansion and improving conditions for both indexes.

The great numbers can be attributed to a strong demand for logistics services after the easing of restrictions boosted activity for wholesale, freight transport and related services.

Many businesses said customers are increasing stock levels as sales and new orders improve, with a strong demand for the supply and delivery of health and safety equipment also continuing – particularly for suppliers of personal protective equipment, cleaning and sanitising products.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) also found that air cargo demand has returned to pre-COVID levels for the first time since the pandemic started.

Global demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometres, was up 1.1 per cent compared to January 2019.

Global capacity, also measured in available cargo tonne-kilometres, shrank 19.5 per cent compared to January 2019 due to new capacity cuts on the passenger side.

Alexandre de Juniac IATA’s Director General and Chief Officer says air cargo traffic returning to pre-crisis levels is much-needed good news for the global economy.

“In normal times, a third of world trade by value moves by air,” he says.

“This high value commerce is vital to helping restore COVID damaged economies – not to mention the critical role air cargo is playing in distributing lifesaving vaccines that must continue for the foreseeable future.”

Written by Emilie Baxter

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