In early August, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) released the IATA World Air Transport Statistics1 publication with performance figures for 2020.
According to IATA’s research, 2020 was one of the most difficult years in the history of the airline industry, with 66 percent of the world’s commercial air transport fleet grounded at the depth of the crisis in April 2020.
Despite this, the industry demonstrated incredible resilience and innovation. In fact, air freight was the bright spot in air transport for 2020, as the market adapted to keep goods moving – including vaccines, personal protective equipment and vital medical supplies.
Fast forward to today, and the air cargo industry appears dynamic and further growth is likely ahead.
For example, IATA’s most recent air cargo market analysis2 from June 2021 indicates this was another month of strong air cargo performance, with industry-wide cargo tonne-kilometers growing 9.9 percent compared to June 2019.
What’s more, the Association’s experts believe there are signs that air cargo volumes may start to climb further in the coming months, with low inventories-to-sales ratio, resilient demand for goods, and more affordable air cargo compared to container shipping.
Despite this positive outlook, there’s no denying that the fundamental process of moving a piece of cargo from A to B is more complex than ever before. And regardless of how much uncertainty you’re navigating, customers increasingly expect transparency at every stage of this process.
Consequently, without the right technology tools, as a forwarder you're going to have to make a lot of phone calls, send lots of emails, and spend a lot of time on airline websites to get the information you need, which is going to be difficult and error-prone, for both you and the airline.
And that's where technology plays a key role, ensuring we can make the whole process work more effectively.
One example is the ability to action direct electronic bookings in real-time, which while fairly simple, can be very powerful for freight forwarders for a number of reasons. For instance, using CargoWise eBookings our customers can quickly and easily:
- Retrieve current and up to date airline schedules, routings, available capacity and associated price options for your eBookings, with immediate airline confirmation upon your preferred selection.
- Minimize errors and increase efficiency with all confirmed flight details and cost information added directly to your consolidation record.
- View booking updates and events for each corresponding routing leg, helping you plan and manage your air cargo shipments more efficiently.
- Conveniently search for consolidations by the eBooking status of each leg to easily keep track of updates and any pending or required actions needed.
- Use configurable workflow tools to automate customer update notifications, or automatically alert you of a pending confirmation, exception or cancellation to your booking without any extra user input.
The air cargo industry has been through massive disruption and seen huge fluctuations over the last 12 to 18 months.
However, the resilience and innovation demonstrated across the industry has been outstanding, and when you couple this with its openness to adopting exciting new technology, I have no doubt we will continue to always rise to whatever challenge is presented.
Want to accelerate and simplify the booking process, including direct airline communication for space allocation, quick quote options, and automated status updates? Learn more
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1IATA World Air Transport Statistics, International Air Transport Association, August 2021.
2Air Cargo Market Analysis, International Air Transport Association, June 2021.