Parcel parlay: How low-cost carriers are perfecting a new integrator model

As the bus pulls up and stops, passengers spill out through the doors and begin climbing the stairs to board the plane, a narrowbody painted in vivid colors. Across the wing, another line is forming on the other side of the aircraft – a string of suitcases and large backpacks, waiting their turn to be thrown into the belly of the plane. After the last bag is loaded, ground handlers ready the lower-hold door for closure, but not before a couple of small packages are packed into the remaining lacuna of the narrowbody belly. Like the vacationers on the maindeck above, the parcels are destined for a remote island paradise off the coast of Malaysia.

While large pallets and containerized cargo consolidations are still mostly absent from low-cost carrier models focused on optimizing passenger transport efficiency, carriers in Southeast Asia are pushing for a revolution in the small-parcel transport business. To do so, they’ll need to convince freight forwarders.

Tapping into the global air cargo trade requires a certain degree of conformity with the existing framework for aligning shipments and flight schedules i.e., cooperation with freight forwarders. At a recent industry conference, Boeing estimated that some 80% of utilized airfreight capacity was controlled by forwarders, yet most forwarders Air Cargo World spoke to admitted that low-cost carriers weren’t currently on their radar.

To read the full story, check out the November digital issue of Air Cargo World.

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