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Editorial comment - December 2015

Airline Cargo Management is delighted to announce the appointment of Helen Massy-Beresford as its new editor, taking over from Alex Lennane, who has been at the helm for the past eight years

What a few years it's been. Much has happened (and conversely, many things haven't happened) in air cargo during this time. When I first arrived in this welcoming, friendly industry, it was being shaped by the now infamous dawn raids over the antitrust allegations; a shock to a mostly unsuspecing industry, with some terrible repercussions.


While the one good effect was a much better understanding of the law and compliance, the fear back then of meeting and talking – and thus of creating a better, seamless industry to counteract the unstoppable integrators – held back fragmented air cargo. And, of course, the episode was hugely expensive, at a time when the world's finances were sickly. The desire to invest in air freight waned.


The bigger shockwaves, however, happened in 2010: namely with the US-bound bombs found in printer cartridges. While the plots were foiled, the consequent knee-jerk reactions from governments changed the world of air cargo, almost overnight, and the ramifications continue today.


These events, combined with the next financial turmoil in 2011, surely hindered the industry. Constantly reacting, rather than progressing, air cargo spent more of its time fighting the TSA and DoJ than focusing on its customers, its service and its modernisation. While all the time the integrators were stepping up, growing their general cargo arms as well as cornering the rapidly expanding e-commerce market.


And of course, there has been another significant trend. Not an overnight shock, but the relentless growth of the Middle Eastern carriers, combined with new freight-friendly passenger aircraft, has upset the capacity and demand balance. At the same time, new transport options – such as rail from China and increasingly efficient ocean services – have added yet another concern to an already marginalised industry.


Despite all this, air cargo is changing. A growing recognition of the need to modernise, a stronger IATA, a thoughtful (if not always successful) TIACA, a renewed focus on standards and training, and better cross-supply chain communication are all encouraging. E-freight may be some way off, disappointingly, but the rapid leaps in technology elsewhere will surely force the industry's hand. Whether it’s Google, Amazon or Uber, disruptive change is here and will inevitably make its mark on air cargo.


It has been a fascinating time to edit Airline Cargo Management,and I'd like to thank all of our readers for their support and encouragement over the years. I know that the magazine is in great hands with Helen – and I also know that Helen is in great hands with this friendly, frustrating, but ultimately enjoyable industry.


Thank you – and here's to the next decade.


Alex Lennane



I am delighted to be taking over as editor of Airline Cargo Management at an exciting time for the industry, with change afoot across the sector. I'd like to thank Alex – for the welcome – but especially for all her hard work over the past eight years, keeping readers informed of the ups and downs of the world of air cargo and making sure high quality information about their industry keeps them ahead of the game.


Editing a magazine is a new challenge for me. I've been a journalist for 13 years and in that time I've written for specialist trade publications including Flightglobal, Air Cargo Week and Airline Cargo Management's sister magazine Aircraft Cabin Management. I've worked as a correspondent in Paris for Reuters, specialising in the French automobile sector, and I've written news and features on everything from synaesthesia to New Balance trainers for a varietyof national newspapers.


I'm excited now to be embarking on this new role. Here's to the future – of Airline Cargo Management and of the industry it serves.


Helen Massy-Beresford

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