The air cargo market has shifted in shippers’ favor the past few months after they endured two years of capacity constraints and climbing rates sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic.

boost in international flights to keep up with summer travel demand helped August air cargo capacity grow 7% YoY, according to Clive. Now, global capacity is just 9% away from recovering to 2019 levels.

At the same time, airlines are facing a tepid cargo demand environment compared to 2021. Inflationary pressures, elevated inventory levels in the U.S., the war in Ukraine and COVID-19 lockdowns in China presenting ongoing challenges for the market, according to Clive. Shippers are also being drawn away due to improving reliability in ocean shipping.

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