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Surveying the sector

The first issue of the new year is always an opportunity to take stock and as 2017 gets underway, the Airline Cargo Management survey highlights some of the highs and lows of this international industry.

One area of concern is training, with several survey respondents calling for better provisions. Our training feature explores the current opportunities for learning available in the industry and what else may be needed.


Respondents to our survey have also sounded a warning over a lack of innovation in the sector. Half of those that replied think the sector should be approaching innovation in a better way, whether that’s getting up to speed with e-freight, investing in the right equipment or facilities, or streamlining processes for more efficient and transparent operations. 


Amid the challenges, many expect strong growth in the year to come, with perishables, express and pharmaceuticals providing opportunities as a growing middle class – most notably in Asia – drives demand for a wide variety of fresh foods and medicines. 


These are areas that Emirates SkyCargo, this issue’s airline interviewee, has done much to promote – most notably with new state-of-the-art facilities in Dubai attracting pharma shipments to its network. 


We also take a look at what the air cargo industry is doing to safeguard – and enlarge – its share of the business of transporting automotive components from factories to assembly lines around the world. While the industry rides the highs and lows according to new model launches, factory openings in key markets and safety recalls, trends towards new technologies such as electric and hybrid models may provide some more scope for growth. 


From the mass-market world of cars to the nichest of the niche, we find out more about the potential for transporting cryogenically frozen matter for the life sciences industry. Getting blood samples, small batches of personalised medicines, or embryos for IVF where they need to go can truly be a matter of life-or-death, and air cargo operators, which have the advantage of speed, have an important role to play in meeting this demand.


We also take a look at the evolution of regulations governing the transportation of dangerous goods, most notably lithium batteries – an important area for players across the industry to get their heads around. 

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