Coming off a record year in 2021, in which DFW cargo surpassed the 1-million-ton mark in total cargo throughput, DFW saw a softening in air cargo in 2022. This was based on numerous factors, including prolonged shutdowns in the Chinese manufacturing sector, restricted air traffic rights between the U.S. and China, aircraft and pilot shortages, manufacturing and supply chain disruptions, inflation and recessionary pressures, and the war in Ukraine (See graph).
Total cargo throughput for DFW Airport for calendar year 2022 was 901,502 US tons. This represents a 10.2% decrease vs. calendar year 2021 and down 8.5% vs. calendar year 2019. From March 2022, worldwide air cargo has shown negative YoY growth, with July 2022 declining to -11% YoY. Integrators were down 9% YoY due to reduced demand for e-commerce resulting from inflationary pressure and return to in-person shopping increasing. E-commerce was further dampened due to an overstock of goods in 2021 and lower consumer demand in 2022 resulting in many retailers holding excess inventory.
According to industry data reported by WorldACD through January, the early Lunar New Year and economic downturn have impacted air cargo demand. When comparing the overall global market on a YoY basis, chargeable weight in the last two weeks of January was down 29% versus the same period in 2022. Volume from Asia-Pacific was down 48%, however, it must be noted last year Lunar New Year started 10 days later. Outbound tonnages were down across the board with North America reporting a 27% drop, and Europe and Middle East & South Asia both down 16%, respectively.
It has been turbulent for the air cargo sector and will continue to be potentially throughout the remainder of 2023, however, the DFW cargo team is moving forward with our strategic plan and initiatives to grow volumes and deliver new business opportunities for the cargo community.