• ITVI.USA
    13,754.510
    83.820
    0.6%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.920
    -0.140
    -0.6%
  • OTVI.USA
    13,721.420
    82.630
    0.6%
  • TLT.USA
    2.840
    0.040
    1.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.480
    -0.170
    -6.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.070
    -0.210
    -6.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.370
    -0.090
    -6.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    2.280
    -0.210
    -8.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.900
    -0.070
    -3.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    2.720
    -0.270
    -9%
  • WAIT.USA
    127.000
    0.000
    0%
  • ITVI.USA
    13,754.510
    83.820
    0.6%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.920
    -0.140
    -0.6%
  • OTVI.USA
    13,721.420
    82.630
    0.6%
  • TLT.USA
    2.840
    0.040
    1.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.480
    -0.170
    -6.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.070
    -0.210
    -6.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.370
    -0.090
    -6.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    2.280
    -0.210
    -8.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.900
    -0.070
    -3.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    2.720
    -0.270
    -9%
  • WAIT.USA
    127.000
    0.000
    0%
American Shipper

Air cargo executives point to sustainable growth

During the CargoFacts conference at Miami Beach, panelists took a sunny approach to the rest of 2014 and beyond.

   Worldwide air cargo volumes have been on the increase since the beginning of the year, and panelists at the CargoFacts Symposium in Miami Beach, Fla., on Thursday expressed optimism that volumes will continue to climb.
   The International Air Transport Association reported this week that air cargo tonnage is expected to grow 4.1 percent annually through 2018. In August, the group recorded year-to-date growth of 4.5 percent, year-over-year, but signaled demand may still face significant challenges.
   Shawn McWhorter, president of NCA Americas, told attendees that peak season for air freight has already begun and the slow ramp-up in cargo is here to stay because of the kinds of goods being shipped on planes.
   “The type of equipment we’re moving is capital equipment, it’s heavy automotive, it’s aerospace; these are the fundamental economic building blocks that help sustain economic growth, and this is really what we see as an encouraging sign going forward,” he said.
   McWhorter said this phenomenon will likely continue through 2015.
   Doug Brittin, secretary general of the International Air Cargo Association, had earlier struck a more cautious tone.
   “We’re pleased to see the uptick in what’s happening; questions to the sustainability of that certainly are going to be impacted by a lot of issues, not only in the short term, but in the long term, that we need to be very cautious about,” he said.
   Brittin listed as potential setbacks the global economic recovery, increasing customs and aviation regulations, environmental issues, world trade problems, and “the need to improve the flow of e-information across the full spectrum of the supply chain.”
   Michael Steen, Atlas Air Worldwide’s executive vice president and chief commercial officer, said after analyzing consumer indices and other data from around the world, industry predictions of between 3 percent and 5 percent growth “for the next several years” are appropriate.
   The panelists talked about promoting air cargo’s value to shippers. While this concept has been discussed at other air cargo events in recent years, attendees now want to take a more aggressive approach to winning back cargo market share by instilling more visibility in the air cargo supply chain. If shippers can track their cargo more efficiently through the supply chain, the panelists said, air transport can win back freight that has shifted to cheaper surface modes.
   “Everybody wants and needs a high level of visibility into what’s happening in their supply chain,” Brittin said. He added this is a significant challenge because, among other things, “you have so many people with their proprietary systems [and] sometimes unwillingness to share data across the various segments of the supply chain.”
   Steen acknowledged that talk of collaboration and improving the supply chain has been dominating the discussion for a long time. He noted as an industry, air cargo has not added in supply-chain efficiencies and other improvements that have benefited other transport modes.
   “When we complain about no progress,” he said, “I think we should look ourselves in the mirror first and say, ‘O.K., What have we done? How have we contributed?’”