The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) is calling for the air cargo industry to adopt the dynamic load factor methodology as the industry standard for measuring the utilisation of air cargo capacity.
Introduced in 2019 by Clive Data Services, the dynamic load factor methodology measures how full an aircraft is by considering both freight volume and weight.
In a statement, Clive and TIACA said that they considered this “a major improvement” compared to the traditional weight-based load factors “which are misleading and paint an unnecessarily negative image of the airfreight industry”.
The reason is that, in most of the cases, the space in an aircraft runs out before reaching its maximum weight capacity. It is due to aircraft’s higher capacity density (calculated as available kg per cubic meter) than the average density of the goods moved by air.
Using industry’s traditional way of measuring load factors solely by weight, the average load factor for September 2020 was 47 per cent, according to Clive. However, the same data from airlines calculated taking into account both weight and volume reveals “a more accurate and realistic dynamic load factor of 70 per cent”.
TIACA’s chair of board of directors, Steven Polmans, said: “So many business decisions in air cargo industry are influenced by the perceptions of cargo load factors which do not show the true figures. Adopting the dynamic load factor will enable cargo professionals and stakeholders to make informed decisions based on timely and more accurate data.”
It says that beyond the proof of data, there is a growing industry support for this new cargo capacity measurement. A recent TIACA survey which gathered feedback from over 80 members attending association’s Economics4Cargo webinar revealed a 98 per cent support for the dynamic load factor methodology.