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International Forwarding Association Blog » Air freight in Europe » Air cargo and world trade in a pandemic

Air cargo and world trade in a pandemic

The pandemic has drastically reduced passenger flights around the world. But unlike this type of flight, the air transport of goods and cargo continues to take place without a decline. International air freight decreased by 5% compared to 2021 levels between 31 January and 13 February 2022.

The imposition of cargo volume restrictions and higher prices compared to other modes of transport did not have a significant impact on the air cargo.


Factors for maintaining the demand for air transport of goods

With the onset of the pandemic, a great demand for goods for protection in public places and for hygiene, such as masks, disinfectants and others took place. Such products are among the goods that do not weigh much and can be transported by air.

In addition to the need for this type of goods to maintain hygiene and prevent infection, the demand for goods offered through e-commerce has also increased significantly. These are different types of products for personal use, clothing, cosmetics, household goods, household appliances and others offered in online stores. Customers in one European country can buy goods from online stores based in other European countries that are delivered to their homes. This is especially important and convenient in a pandemic environment, where contact with other people should be avoided as much as possible.

The increase in online purchases of goods reached record levels in 2021 and remained at the beginning of 2022. Many of these goods are delivered by air from logistics companies that are members of the International Forwarding Association.


The pandemic disrupted the supply process by ground transport

Traditionally, supply chains use land transport, mainly road transport. With the imposed restrictions in different periods, there were interruptions in the process of deliveries in different places. The consequence of these interruptions was the delayed delivery of goods and cargo. As this is a serious obstacle for manufacturers to sell their products quickly, they turned to air transport as the fastest way to deliver.


Increased demand for air transport from supply chains

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in May 2021 there was an increase of 9.4% in demand for air transport for supplies of goods, compared to the volume of demand for such supplies in May 2019. That is, this increase is for a period of 2 years. This is due to the growing demand for air transport logistics from supply chains.

It has previously been pointed out that air transport is about 12 times more expensive than, for example, water transport, which is the cheapest. But this difference is already smaller, with data showing that air transport is about 6 times more expensive. Emphasizing the speed of supply, it is clear that air transport is increasingly competitive compared to other modes of transport for the supply of goods.


Take advantage of our air freight

We draw the attention of our clients to the advantages of air transport for the transport of goods by IFA partners. Speed ​​of delivery is crucial in many cases. After delivery of your shipments to an airport, we also offer delivery to your final destination using road transport. For air transport, the goods are placed in containers and easily loaded and unloaded. Combining with road transport, we deliver shipments to final destinations, cooperating with all companies in our partner network.