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Contemporary Practices in The Air Freight Industry.

Shaped by technological advancements, clamour for environmental friendliness, new laws and regulations, and evolving consumer demands, the global air shipping industry is amidst a transformative and revolutionary phase. Air shipping over the years has played a vital role and is now a force to reckon with in the global supply chain, and lots of pivotal trends are emerging in the industry. In today's session, we will examine crucial air shipping trends influencing the industry in 2023 and beyond.

Focus on Environmental Sustainability

In response to the growing clamour and campaign on environmental sustainability and the impact of air cargo shipping on the environment, the air shipping industry has been focusing on sustainable aviation initiatives. Manufacturers, suppliers, businesses, shippers, and consumers are now demanding greener transportation options due to global warming and it's impact on the ecosystem. Airlines and freight carriers invest in sustainable practices, such as biofuels, electric aircraft, and improved fuel efficiency measures. 

 The Growth of E-Commerce

E-commerce is a growing trend in the supply chain industry. Enhanced by ever-developing technologies and changing consumer shopping habits, e-commerce brings both speed and convenience to consumers. As a result, traditional delivery methods have been overwhelmed, and according to the IATA (International Air Transport Association), air cargo demand in 2021 exceeded that of 2020, which is expected to continue into 2022 and beyond. 

 Use of Drone Delivery Service

Though new, drone technology has made significant strides in recent years, and there has been an increase in the use of drone delivery services as an option for last-mile delivery and remote area accessibility. E-commerce giants and logistics companies like Prime-Time Air, FedEx., UPS Flight Forward, DHL Parcelcopter, Wing, Matternet, Zipline, and Flytrex invest heavily in drone fleets to facilitate speedy delivery and reduce costs. 

 Supply Chain Diversification.

As the global economy improves, supply chain service providers grow, and the need for supply chain diversification increases. Companies and individuals are increasingly relying on air freight to move their goods to complete projects and meet deadlines. Air freight has already established itself as a vital mode of cargo transportation. Therefore, manufacturers and businesses no longer rely only on sea shipping to move their goods, especially internationally. Rather, many of them now tilt toward air cargo shipping for the timely movement and delivery of their goods thereby diversifying the supply chain. 

 Focus on Cyber Security

Digitisation has brought many advantages to the aviation industry. However, as the air shipping industry becomes increasingly digitised, the need for robust cybersecurity measures is poignant. With cyber threats rising, airlines and logistics providers are ramping up their efforts to safeguard sensitive data. The industry is now focusing on cybersecurity protocols to maintain the integrity and safety of operations. 

 Air Freight as an Omni Channel

Fueled by high customer demand, airlines are compelled to expand their operations beyond traditional services and have turned to other opportunities to provide end-to-end services instead, and they are already seeing the benefits. Europe is the epicentre with the Swiss World Cargo partnership with the Swiss Postal Service to optimise delivery. This trend is gradually taking root in the rest of the world and will continue to open many opportunities for the freight industry as partnerships between airlines and shippers are likely to grow as this trend continues.

Scarcity of Air Cargo Capacity

The demand for air cargo has been increasing in recent times while available space is decreasing, and this can be attributed to the pandemic, which prompted shippers to tilt toward air cargo shipping. Also, the ocean freight sector, becoming increasingly unreliable due to container shortages and delays, forced many shippers to divert to air freight to ship their goods. These innovative moves will go a long way to help solve the problem of scarcity of space. For example, to meet demand for the next 20 years, Boeing is building new planes and converting existing 737s to cargo planes. 

 Rise in Shipping Rates.

Shipping rates has not been stable, in recent times as the demand for cargo space keeps exceeding availability and supply. According to the IATA, there are more air cargo aircraft flying today than there was pre-pandemic. There are 1,100 air cargo planes in operation, 240 more than in January 2020. Despite this, there is still a 39% capacity shortage in the industry. While this is helpful, it takes time and money to manufacture and refurbish these planes. By implication, freight rates will not stabilise any time soon.

 Sophisticated Cargo Tracking System

In this era of digitalisation and instant information in the supply chain, customers demand real-time visibility into their shipments. To meet this demand, air shipping companies are adopting advanced tracking systems and improved data-sharing systems. Cargo tracking platforms have become more sophisticated, allowing customers to monitor their shipments from origin to destination with greater accuracy and transparency.

The supply chain industry has been and is still transforming thanks to constantly emerging issues and trends in our world.

Having a supply chain partner like SARA PROCUREMENT SERVICES LIMITED that is in tune with all the emerging trends and knows how to leverage them for business growth will help to keep your business afloat in the dynamic and complex economic terrain.

Visit our physical office space at 3 Fatai Irawo Street, Ajao Estate, Airport Road, Lagos, Nigeria, or any of our warehouse touch point locations worldwide to learn more about us and utilise our services. 

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