The end of the year is typically a time to reflect on what went well in prior months, what was learned in overcoming challenges and how best to prepare for the fast-approaching new year. With the yearend also being the busiest time for airfreight, finding a moment or two for quiet reflection may not be in the cards for many Air Cargo World readers this month. With that in mind, November feature stories strive to put recent trends into perspective as we prepare for another year of uncertainty.
Developments in Amazon’s growing airfreight operations are a regular news topic for Air Cargo World, but with hub openings, new freighter additions and a growing list of operating partners, it can be difficult to see the spreading forest of Amazon’s operations for the trees. This month’s feature story “Express meets its match: E-commerce providers growing their logistics footprints,” provides a wider picture of how Amazon’s air operations are expanding — thanks in part to the accelerated speed of e-commerce growth due to the pandemic — and how express operators FedEx, UPS and DHL are investing to maintain their own place in e-commerce fulfillment.
We have also seen a number of other trends emerge or grow during the year, with additional delivery and e-commerce services launched by airlines, freight forwarders and shipping companies pursuing freighter aircraft operations, and digital and third-party cargo sales gaining steam. The sudden changes in the industry have been startling and have left observers wondering how many of the trends will persist with the return of passenger belly capacity and how many will be left behind as a relic of the pandemic era. In “The future of air cargo distribution: Customers, products and sales channels,” Cargo Facts Consulting Managing Director Frederic Horst presents a holistic analysis of the trends and their likely impact on the future of airfreight products and sales channels.
After the challenges of 2020, discussions in 2021 have certainly revealed one trend likely to persist in 2022: a renewed understanding of and appreciation for airfreight’s importance in keeping cargo and economies moving. With that in mind, we look forward to highlighting some of the executives who helped airfreight achieve its current success in our December issue, when we present our Executive of the Year and Executives to Watch for 2022. In the meantime, you can find the latest news on airfreight during the 2021 “super peak” on AirCargoWorld.com.
Editor, Air Cargo World