FRA Cargo Climate Index October 2020


(Compared to previous week: →)

Actual Traffic Figures

September 2020

October 2020 Δ % y-t-y
Cargo (Freight & Mail in t) 165,967  182,061 (↗) + 1,6 %
Passengers 1,148,130  1,067,014 (↘) - 83,4 %
Aircraft Movements 16,940 17,105 (↘) - 62,8 %

Cargo volumes in Frankfurt continued to develop very well: with a rate of +1.6%, the first positive month since 15 months was recorded (↗). This culminated in a peak day on October 30th: over 8,000 tons of flown cargo were handled in FRA on that day. The last time such high volumes were recorded was in December 2018. The share of export volumes rose more strongly (+4.6%) (↗) than the import share (+2.1%) and led to a slight outbound surplus. With an average of around 90 cargo-only-flights per day, the volume of those movements exceeded the previous year's figure by around 50%, thus largely compensating the loss of Belly capacities. On peak days we were able to welcome over 130 cargo flights in FRA. The ratio of cargo-only flights with passenger aircraft was at about 20%; the ratio of belly cargo to freighter cargo remained at about 20% to 80% (→).

Classification of the current situation by the cargo stakeholders interviewed

The results of the interviews on current freight volumes comprehensively reflect the values of the transport statistics. For both, imports and exports, more than 85% stated that the volume was "above expectations" or "as expected" (↗). With regard to exports, none reported that the volumes were below expectations (↗). The increase in cargo volumes even within the month was also reflected in the feedback on capacity availability: around 40% (import) and 50% (export) of those answering reported an overhang in demand.
The good overall economic development and positive outlook for the business situation is again reflected in the forecast of future volumes. Now all respondents assess the further development of both, import and export, as "increasing" or at least "constant", with over 70% expecting a further increase (↗). The estimation of the development in the remaining weeks of the fourth quarter was confirmed. A peakseason is also expected this year and around 75% of the responses estimated the development as "increasing" for this period (↗).

Mostly mentioned with an increase in regard to product groups was high-tech/electronics (↗) in addition to pharmaceuticals. Further increases were also reported for the product groups Automotive, Textiles and, for the first time since spring, PPE-Equipment (↗). In addition, a positive development in e-commerce was also mentioned. Moreover, 100% of those interviewed were "satisfied" with the performance within their own company and that of the authorities or rated it as "appropriate" (→). Continuity was also evident in the rating of the land- and air-side performance: around 75% gave positive feedback with "satisfied" or "adequate". The number of those dissatisfied with the performance is still high, but compared to the previous month, the number of those dissatisfied with the landside performance is higher (↘).

Reported findings and need for action

With regard to the airport, the experts agree that handling the current and expected even higher cargo volumes will be a major challenge for all parties involved. This applies to both, the land- and the air-side. At the same time, the respective companies are preparing intensively for the processes required for handling corona vaccines and testing equipment. With regard to the upcoming Brexit, the industry considers itself well prepared, while the impact of this break-up remains unclear. This also applies to the expected changes in the air traffic market due to the ongoing crisis at many airlines.


Issued by: FRA Cargo Team as of: November 12th 2020, Cargo & Logistics Infrastructure Development, ZFL, Fraport AG
For further questions or hints please contact us via e-mail: fracargoteam@fraport.