Technology, sustainability key trends but talent attraction, retention a challenge – IAG Cargo survey

IAG Cargo, the cargo division of International Airlines Group (IAG) hosted a roundtable in New Delhi to discuss key air cargo trends and business updates, and their recent global survey of freight forwarders and logistics industry professionals served as a focal point of the roundtable discussions. Speakers included John Cheetham, Chief Commercial Officer at IAG Cargo, Yashpal Sharma, President of Air Cargo Forum India (ACFI) & Managing Director at Skyways Group, along with Pratul Shekhar, Senior Director Airfreight at DSV.

“I am delighted to have had the opportunity to engage with thought leaders of the industry in India, a region in which IAG Cargo has long since had a strong presence. We have gained some valuable insights which will be hugely beneficial and applicable to our operations around the world.”

John Cheetham, Chief Commercial Officer at IAG Cargo

The survey results showed that the Indian market has heavily adopted online booking as a way of booking air-cargo with 76% of respondents declaring it as their primary booking method, compared to only 46% globally. In sharp contrast, the global market still relies on email as their primary channel for booking freight.

The roundtable addressed these statistics in line with the digital advancements taking place and how the air cargo industry is preparing their businesses to adapt to the fast-paced technological changes, which is expected to take place at an even quicker rate compared to pre-pandemic.

The survey also conferred that Indian freight forwarders and logistics professionals are placing greater importance on sustainability than their global counterparts. Consecutively, the roundtable discussions took into consideration how sustainability is informing their business decisions and the industry progress towards SAF goals. It is notable that 78% of those surveyed in India responded that their business has a sustainability strategy (the global response was 67%) and 68% said they considered sustainability to be ‘extremely important’ compared to 38% in the global audience. 

With technology adoption and sustainability aspects sorted, the primary concern of the industry players came out as attraction and retention of talent. 46% of the respondents in India named it as their number one business challenge. 

The outcomes of the remarkable global survey on cargo trends conducted by IAG Cargo prior to the roundtable are really interesting. The findings indicate how people are supporting increased automation and digitization worldwide. It is heartening to see that Indian representatives actively participated in the survey and mentioned about the high benchmarks of digital automation being achieved, along with future expectations set in enterprises. Additionally, the need to attract the right talent and retain them has also taken prominence for enterprises, globally.

Yashpal Sharma, President of ACFI & Managing Director at Skyways Group

Thanking IAG Cargo for taking the initiative to conduct the roundtable, Pratul Shekhar said, “Thank you IAG cargo for taking this initiative to bring in the industry leaders of logistics and supply chain to address the future of Air Logistics in terms of automation, digitalisation and sustainability. Like IAG cargo, DSV is also working towards making the world more transparent, automated and sustainable”.

IAG Cargo also announced that its winter 2022 schedule is offering more weekly services in India than pre-pandemic, with 112 weekly flights servicing 5 Indian airports. 

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