Global Air Cargo Experts outlined the Future of the Industry in Logistics Insider’s Talk Show

Global Air Cargo Experts

Logistics Insider, in this era of social distancing, on Monday, kicked off its new series of LinkedIn Live Talk Show “Let’s Talk Logistics”, and brought together a panel of industry experts who brainstormed and put forth some actionable insights on the future of the global air cargo and aviation industry and communicated their thoughts and ideas to a large number of audience.

The first episode of the series, “Global Air Cargo Business Rising to a New Normal” powered by Skyways Group was amazingly moderated by Mr. Vikram Paul, Air Cargo expert and independent consultant, and saw the industry veterans engage in knowledgeable conversations on the prevailing issues of global air cargo business in these tough times.    

Discussing the global recovery curve, Glyn Hughes, Global Head of Cargo, IATA said, “In May, the revenue passenger kilometre was 91% down versus that of last year and in June it was 86% down. So, it’s moving in the right direction but incredibly slow. I feel the recovery is going to be W-shaped and it will be a roller-coaster ride. We as an industry have to be agile and flexible to respond to any scenario that arrives. I feel as an industry we are going to have a very traumatic four-year period coming up.”

He added, “We feel the recovery has started much slower than we earlier hoped for. We don’t anticipate the passenger numbers returning before 2024. It is critical to understand that, whatever the recovery looks like, there are certain factors that need to take place like constant support from the government, restore passengers’ confidence which is dependent on the launch of the vaccine.”

Putting an optimistic view in the panel discussion, Tushar Jani, Group Chairman, Cargo Service Centre spoke on the impact on cargo and said, “While passenger capacity has not come back to more than 10-20%, the cargo capacity has reached to almost 70%. Also, I feel the recovery of the passenger segment will take a longer time will avail more aircraft for cargo. I look at the cargo sector doing well in the current situation and have a very optimistic approach.”

The panel further discussed on the passenger converted cargo airlines to which Halit Tuncer from Turkish Airlines said, “Looking at the high demand, we converted our wide-body aircraft to accommodate more cargo and catch up with the demand. We at the peak time converted 30 of our aircraft, but now in August, the number is down to 9 aircraft as demand is not that much.

He added, “Air freight rates are going down which is healthy for the industry to recover faster. The demand for cargo aircraft is getting down but I hope we can support it with passenger demand, which will be more profitable for the airlines.”

Speaking at the discussion, Manoj Singh, Senior Vice President and Head Cargo, Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) highlighted the shift that is being made from air to sea transportation and ask airlines to increase the capacity in order to sustain the core products transported via air cargo.

He said, “The airlines need to focus upon being a hub for all type of products. In this scenario where more capacity is being handled by freighter, the typical air cargo products are not being sustained. Of course, more importance is to be given to the products with more capacity but I feel that certain products shouldn’t be given away to the shipping lines. Airlines need to create capacity so that air supply chain which is known for all type of time-sensitive supply chain stays alive. This will help the industry and economy to grow.

Further, as the panel discussed the transportation of the much-awaited COVID Vaccine, Mr Hughes said, “Collaboration is going to be critical by all of the major manufacturers and pharma companies. There has to be distributive manufacturing and create manufacturing sites around the planet. We are working closely with WHO and other organisations to support at-risk community in distant areas. To get a vaccine to remote areas is going to be a challenge as a vaccine is only effective if its distributed and utilized in the condition it is meant for. To truly vaccinate the entire planet, there has to be significant collaboration from people who have done it and international agencies led by the WHO.”

Towards the end of the discussion, Mr Jani spoke about the rising importance of data and technology in the industry. He said, “In today’s scenario, data has to travel and it has to travel before the cargo reaches. Data and technology are going to be the key.”

He also emphasized on the fact that along with AI and ML, 3D printing is going to be the future of Air Cargo.

“Let’s Talk Logistics” in its first episode witnessed traction of 1400+ logistics and air cargo professionals and fulfilled its purpose to a tee by concluding with actionable takeaways and bringing forward the ground reality of the global air cargo industry.

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