That a magazine has maintained unbroken publication for three-quarters of a century is, in itself, a remarkable achievement. But for a business publication to last that long, covering an industry that basically did not exist when it was conceived, is more than just remarkable; it makes the Air Cargo World journey truly unique in the history of journalism.
Of course, it was not always called Air Cargo World. In its first issue, published in October 1942, it was called Air Transportation – a title it would keep for its first quarter of a century before evolving into several other titles under different owners. But in those early days, World War II was still raging and the United States had been involved for about 10 months. Airplanes had been carrying mail and small parcels since at least the “War to End All Wars” a generation earlier, but no one at the time had even heard of “air cargo” and few could imagine it would become a business after the current World War was over – except perhaps John F. Budd.
While U.S. forces were slogging through the swamps of Guadalcanal, and the Red Army was desperately fighting street-by-street against the Nazis in what seemed like an icy lost cause in Stalingrad, John Budd paid close attention to the enormous logistical effort required to bring materiel to these millions of troops around the globe and was one of the first to see the post-war potential of air cargo as an industry In the opening editorial of the first issue, Budd laid out his philosophy about the focus and tone of the magazine.
“Air Transportation is not anti-ship, anti-rail or anti-truck. It is pro-air, because it believes that, sooner or later, cargo-by-air will be a mighty force with which every shipper should, in his own interest, be familiar.”
Since then, the magazine has stuck closely to those founding Air Transportation principles of advocacy for air cargo and analysis of its vital relationship to all the other global modes of freight transportation available to shippers. Today known as Air Cargo World, the magazine has more than 23,000 subscribers in 184 countries, making it the largest-circulation publication in the air cargo arena.
“What I like the most is the consistent quality of news coverage over the years, without bias,” said Robert van de Weg, now managing director of AirWay Cargo, formerly with Cargolux and Volga-Dnepr Group. “The knowledge of the business is high at Air Cargo World. The news is objective and does not seem to be driven by advertising income.”
To see more of our 75th Anniversary issue, please visit:
- Air Cargo World changes with the times
- Timeline: 75 years of air cargo moments
- Predictions: The good, the bad and the just ‘plane’ crazy
- Come a long way: Gender roles in air cargo