E-Commerce Monitor by IATA


COVID-19 has shifted consumers behavior and brought exponential growth to e-commerce. What have we learnt in 2020? And how can we build strategies to meet the increased demand for e-commerce?

Worldwide E-Commerce will reach $5 Trillion in 2021. In order to capitalize on the demand and embrace the opportunity that air cargo has during this pandemic, it is critical that we build a robust air cargo strategy.

IATA forecasted that air cargo represented 36% of airline revenues in 2020. E-Commerce is the fastest-growing segment within cargo. With that in mind, and the fact that 80% of crossborder e-commerce is transported by air, transforming to capture e-commerce can represent a lifeline for air cargo.

The air cargo sector has retained 92% of its business while almost 90% of passenger demand has evaporated because of travel fears and government restrictions.

COVID-19 has had a major impact on consumer behavior, increasing online purchases, and this change is here to stay. This is the first time that domestic outgrows cross-border. COVID and the lack of air freight capacity reversed the trend of cross-border outgrowing domestic. However, according to McKinsey, cross-border e-commerce will return to outgrow domestic from next year onwards with a predicted 20% shares of air cargo trade volumes by 2022.

According to the previous issue of the Monitor by December 2020, more than 2 billion people were shopping online in 2020, almost a quarter of the world’s population. «Ecommerce has moved 10 years ahead in just 90 days.» However, there has also been a decrease of 60% in postal parcels sent, due to lack of capacity.

Due to the pandemic and the reduction of 95% in the use of passenger aircrafts, this made it very difficult to ship cargo and mail in lower holds and thus to respond to the boost in behavioral change of consumers.

The full version of the article is available here.

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