David Kerr, CEO, CargoLogicAir, commented: “The business is going well at the moment. We've had a recovery – last year in particular. Global economy growth was strong the world over, and the air freight market is very dependent, clearly, on that. [Growth] was uniform across most countries.
“This year it's been a little more patchy – we've seen some markets recover further, and others have stalled a little, but in general the momentum's very positive.”
Van de Weg, VP, Sales and Marketing, Volga-Dnepr, added that the rise of e-commerce is a key trend driving growth in the cargo industry.
“Apart from the fluctuations in GDP that currently drive air freight growth, there's a new element – e-commerce – which drives [growth] on the regional side as well as on the intercontinental side.”
New technology is helping the cargo industry manage this growth. However, some things can’t be digitised, Kerr said, noting: “Our business is very people-oriented, and it's very tailor-made.
"We create solutions for people, we solve problems, and that needs a significant amount of human intervention, so our people are what make this business work."
Kerr added: “ Underpinning that, clearly new technology and use of data is important – it can inform matters such as security, but it's primarily there to inform our customers, keep them abreast of where the shipments are at any time in the process worldwide.”
Four ways to succeed
Van de Weg said achieving the lowest possible unit cost is step number one to succeeding in the cargo industry, in order to be efficient. Second is to make sure planes fly as much as possible, and the third element is to make sure these planes are full.
“In addition,” he said, “We want to ensure that we carry the most premium products possible, so we're specialising in outsize cargo and pharmaceuticals, and we're [operating] a business class in cargo.
He concluded: "These are the elements to be successful."