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All change

The air freight industry is back on track and raring to go, in a busy issue for Airline Cargo Management

The December issue of Airline Cargo Management explores an industry raring to go, and after a lengthy spell in the doldrums, things are finally looking much more straightforwardly positive for air cargo operators.

Our partner Seabury Consulting has carried out its annual analysis of the industry – and found that across the board there is finally cause for real celebration.

With most of the traditional fourth quarter peak still to come as the magazine goes to press, it looks as if the supply/demand balance has tipped in the right direction. Booming demand for e-commerce and perishables, as well as strength in major trade lanes – not to mention some tougher times for sea freight operators – have all contributed to the upbeat outlook.

We take the opportunity to study the e-commerce sector in greater detail this issue, looking at how operators are coping with the spike in demand, as well as how consumer expectations of speedy delivery of their online goods are reshaping the structure of the industry.

We also explore the regional air freight market, and infrastructure developments in the Middle East, a region that has been driving growth in the past few years, but which may be showing the first hints of a slowdown.

We speak to Cargolux and Rodair about their hopes for 2018, and our feature on ULDs explores a little-discussed but vital piece of equipment, and asks what will it take – now that fuel prices have come off their highs – to convince more airlines to outsource their ULD management? ULD managers are increasingly offering more sophisticated tracking as a sweetener.

And we find out more about industry initiatives on training – a vital piece of the puzzle as authorities and operators look to make sure the momentum seen over the past few months is maintained.

A busy and productive 2018 is in store for the air cargo industry, but as this is my last issue as editor of Airline Cargo Management, I won’t be around to witness it. It has been a fascinating journey, delving into the air freight industry over the past two eventful years, tracking its recovery and observing its progress. Keith Mwanalushi, currently editor of Low Cost & Regional Airline Business, will be the new editor of Airline Cargo Management from the March issue onwards, keeping tabs on the latest trends of this complex industry.

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