Air Cargo Strong growth in 2022January 5, 2022
Air Cargo was the hero in many ways in 2021. It was able to deliver Covid vaccines globally and provide food for those countries in need, while also ensuring that e-commerce shipments made it to their destination – even while other modes were mired in bottlenecks. The airline industry was adaptable and continued to evolve in 2021 to meet the needs of commerce during a world health crisis. 2022 should be even better for the Air Cargo industry.
Overall, worldwide air cargo traffic is expected to be approximately 69.3 million metric tons in 2022. This growth is fueled by the expectation of robust e-commerce and more planes in the air this year. Moreover, airlines will continue to utilize the passenger-to-freighter (PTF) model as a continuing trend to generate additional revenue, at least until the EASA and FAA deadline for the preighter usage ends in July.
The global supply chain bottleneck will continue into 2022. We still have issues with cargo ships and containers which weigh heavily on global commerce. This is a great opportunity for air cargo to promote and provide additional capacity at a premium price in the first half of 2022. The second half of 2022 will see an abatement in the bottleneck as manufacturing increases, inflation eases and people come back into the workforce.
The Omicron Covid mutation is front of mind with most industries. Unfortunately, it is highly contagious, and it will spike after the holidays. It has already impacted air travel; however, with milder symptoms. If we do not see any major mutations, it is expected to be a short-term issue allowing air travel to continue to move toward 2019 levels. This is something I know we all have our fingers crossed for in 2022.
The pandemic forced or accelerated changes to the Cargo industry that were already moving, but at a slow pace. The digital transformation of airlines has hastened as well as the adoption of consistent standards for the cargo industry. This is key as the air cargo industry continues to shift to a view focused on the rewards of e-commerce shipping and delivery – from a view centered on purely containerized and palletized freight.
The opportunity ahead for air cargo is tremendous. There will be rate and volume increases in standard cargo as well as e-commerce packages. 2022 will be a year where passenger airlines will continue to increase flights, as many of us want to get away to travel the world again. Those extra flights are opportunities for airlines looking to continue to grow their volumes and their cargo revenues every year.