Air cargo volumes expected to be strong for 2024, but revenues down

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

Despite total air cargo volumes expected to reach 62 million tonnes in 2024, a report from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) says air cargo revenues are expected to fall to $120 billion in 2024, down from $138 billion in 2023.

Both are down sharply from the extraordinary peak of $210 billion in 2021, but it is above 2019 revenues, which were $101 billion and an improvement on the previous forecast of $111 billion, announced in December 2023.

Despite the strength of demand, cargo yields are expected to fall 17.5 per cent in 2024 while remaining slightly above 2019 levels. This is a normalization after extraordinary pandemic highs. A key factor in this is the significant belly capacity that entered the market in 2023 in tandem with the recovery of passenger travel.

In general, air cargo is in a period of correction following an exceptional year in 2021, says the IATA’s Air Profitability Outlook report. Yields, capacity growth, the belly-dedicated freighter split and other key metrics are moving from the extraordinary mid-pandemic situation toward a continuation of pre-pandemic trends and levels.