The past year has held difficult days for the industry and for many of us personally, but at Air Cargo World we were reminded during our July reporting that there is reason to expect better days ahead soon. Nearly 50% of the population in the United States, where we are based, have been fully vaccinated. According to the New York Times, more than 3.35 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered around the world.
Rising vaccination rates also mean the return of travel to look forward to — reunions with far-away family, a chance to relax during a summer getaway, and even the return of business travel, as is shortly ahead for our sister publication, Cargo Facts, during the Cargo Facts Symposium scheduled for Oct. 25-27 in Las Vegas.
People in some countries have not yet been so fortunate, with many countries still not having vaccinated even 10% of their populations. COVID-19 vaccines take time to procure, and manpower and money to acquire and distribute, leaving some countries in a better position to do so than others. The disparity was anticipated, though, and several major NGOs planned early in the pandemic to assist those countries that would otherwise struggle to procure enough vaccine doses.
Our feature story for July, “COVAX delivered: The Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative takes flight,” delves into the massive global effort to provide equitable COVID-19 vaccine access around the world. Just as airfreight played a starring role in 2020 in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic through transport of personal protective equipment, 2021 has seen the launch of humanitarian vaccine shipments, transported by airlines in the Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative partnership with UNICEF. Air Cargo World spoke with the carriers involved to learn more about how they’re managing these flights alongside their normal cargo operations, as airfreight does its part to aid the global effort to end the pandemic.
July’s secondary feature, “Deadlines and deviations: Maximizing, managing and navigating cargo capacity,” looks at technologies aimed at mitigating some of the capacity issues that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. While the outlook for the return of belly capacity alongside passenger aviation has worsened for the remainder of 2021, some digital and equipment-based initiatives offer promise for making the current network of cargo capacity as efficient as possible — ensuring global supply chains will keep moving until capacity does return.
Good things are ahead from Air Cargo World for August, as well. Alongside our annual Freight 50 ranking of the world’s top cargo carriers, we look forward to bringing you the next in our 2021 webinar series, “Spotlight on ULDs: Blueprints for container best practices,” on Aug. 4. Learn more about the upcoming webinar and register on AirCargoWorld.com.
Editor, Air Cargo World