CORONAVIRUS hit the international air cargo industry in March, with global cargo volumes falling by 23% against the same four weeks of 2019.

According to air cargo market intelligence from CLIVE Data Services, the decline accelerated week-on-week throughout March, with the week ending 29 March showing volumes were just half of what was moved in the same seven days of last year.

“Sadly, there is no getting away from the overall concerning developments we are seeing in the global air cargo market, but there is perhaps a little bit of hope to be found in Asia – which was hit first by the outbreak of COVID-19,” said CLIVE managing director Niall van de Wouw.


“In previous data, we reported the step-by-step improvement on the Hong Kong to Europe market and this is continuing,” he said.

An air cargo graphic from CLIVE Data. Credit: CLIVE

“The reported volumes for the last week of March 2020 were 26% higher than before the Chinese New Year started. If this is sustained, it will at least offer some hope for the rest of the industry of the speed with which air cargo traffic can recover after a very difficult time.”

CLIVE’s market seeks to consolidate data shared by a representative group of international airlines operating across the world. Based on both the volume and weight perspectives of the cargo flown and capacity available, it seeks to give the air cargo industry the earliest possible barometer of market performance for each month.