Closing the book on a volatile year in air cargo

What a year! After a rejuvenating flurry of activity in 2010 and an excellent start to 2011, many supply-chain providers were looking forward to a healthy, prosperous year.

Was it possible that the industry was emerging from the recession? But as the International Air Transport Association and other organizations started, at around 2011’s midpoint, to reconfigure their year-end projections, these same cargo insiders saw trouble in the skies.

The economic crises throughout Europe, a slowdown in the once-booming Asia-Pacific region and a handful of natural disasters led to a worldwide slowdown that affected all aspects of the industry. And according to some of air cargo’s best and brightest, more of the same can be expected in 2012. There is some light at the end of the tunnel, it seems, but it might take some perseverance to get there.

As a year-end wrap-up, Air Cargo World has profiled six individuals who have been a key part of the industry’s success. Those interviewed for our Air Cargo Leaders feature (starting on p. 24) range from the top cargo executives at North American airlines (Neel Shah,

Jon Ross

Jon Ross

Lise-Marie Turpin) to forwarders, GSAs and even cargo’s most ardent supporter at IATA. Everyone we spoke with had valuable insight about where we are today and how we should prepare for the future. It was a pleasure to chat with each of them, and I hope you have as much fun reading these profiles as we had putting them together.

The December-January issue also contains our brand-new, updated Worldwide Airfreight Guide, which is a combination of the airfreight forwarder, airline and airport listings that have previously run in different issues throughout the year. Now, you’ll be able to find all the information you need in one place.

Finally, let me look ahead a bit to 2012. Next year is Air Cargo World’s 70th year of existence, and we feel a bit like celebrating. Starting in February, each issue will contain a “Look Back” section that highlights a story from our extensive archives. The walk down memory lane will culminate in the June issue, which will contain a number of historical features and columns as well as a discussion of where we’re going
as an industry.

While news from Greece and now Italy may not bode well for the immediate future, I’m sure things will turn around in 2012. And when they do, we’ll be sure to bring you the story in the pages of Air Cargo World.

— Jon Ross is the editor of Air Cargo World.

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