One estimated economic impact of COVID-19 on the global logistics industry is a decrease of 6.1 percent in gross value added by the logistics industry. The estimated impact of COVID-19 on logistics markets varies across countries, from a 0.9 decline in China to 18.1 decline in Italy. The global freight forwarding market is expected to shrink by 7.5 percent at worst in 2020 compared with 2019. In a severe impact scenario, the North American sea and air freight forwarding market is expected to contract by 12.1 and 9.5 percent respectively in 2020 compared with the previous year. COVID-19 also affected freight traffic in the U.S. Rail traffic in the United States was hit the hardest in April 2020, with 25.2 percent less carloads being transported compared with the same month the year before.
Perhaps the aviation industry was worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic compared to other sectors. Between March 2019 and March 2020, air freight volume globally declined by 19 percent. In March 2020, total air freight volume amounted to only four million metric tons. Compared to passenger air transportation, the effect of COVID-19 on the freight aviation industry is relatively mild because regulatory restrictions were less stringent. For example, almost all passenger flights have been cancelled amid the coronavirus outbreak around the globe. The weekly number of international scheduled flights declined by roughly 28.7 percent during the week of March 23, 2020, in comparison with the week of March 25, 2019. One month after, the year-on-year change in the number of scheduled flights declined by 69.9 percent in the week starting May 4, 2020 compared to the week of May 6, 2019.
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