US travel ban to curb transatlantic air cargo capacity

US travel ban to curb transatlantic air cargo capacity

A 30-day travel ban on passengers from dozens of European countries issued by the U.S. government came into effect on March 14. The move is likely to have a significant impact on the movement of trans-Atlantic cargo, most of which is transported in the bellies of passenger planes. However, these countries have now been included in an extension of the ban which will go into effect as of midnight on March 17.

More than 60 percent of air freight between Europe and the U.S. is carried on passenger flights – more so than any other trade lane – with the remainder being carried by cargo-only freighters. A steep increase in transatlantic flight cancellations will thus have a significant impact on air cargo capacity, rates, and transit times.

Capacity shortages and logistics bottlenecks may cause inventory shortages and operational delays in the coming weeks as a result of longer transit times and fewer connections on an airport-to-airport basis. The biggest challenge may arise next week when the backlog of passengers returning to the U.S. clears and airlines cut back on additional flights.

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