The air cargo industry has been in a state of turmoil so far in 2022, with a range of forces at work. In his regular column (p8), TIACA director general Glyn Hughes gives an excellent overview of these forces and examines how best to overcome them, explaining why the need for further innovation and new solutions has arisen.
All sectors of the industry are feeling the impact of the past months and years, and in this issue we look at some of these sectors in detail to see what changes and innovations are being made.
Our cover story on cargo handling (p18) features a range of industry participants, who show how cargo airlines and ground handling operations are evolving – balancing the rise in demand for e-commerce and consumer electronics with the need to be sustainable.
Air cargo management systems remain the backbone of cargo operations. In an article on page 24, we assess the factors that make up a good system, what differentiates them, and how design, usage and demand is evolving.
Elsewhere, we explore how Brussels and Miami International airports have established themselves as successful pharma hubs, and how they and their partners innovated during the Covid crisis (p30). We also look at the changing role of general sales and service agents (p38), similarly innovating to fill market needs.
Other changes to the air cargo landscape are underway. Qatar Airways Cargo, for example, recently announced two important – but very different – partnerships in a bid to drive innovation. With Cainiao Network, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group, the company launched a weekly chartered flight from Hong Kong to São Paulo in Brazil in order to serve one of Cainiao’s fastest growing e-commerce destinations in Latin America. Qatar Airways Cargo has also partnered with Gaussin to test and commission zero-emissions vehicles for freight transportation, which is the subject of our ‘Green sky’ column (p42).
The sustainability theme continues in a new regular column by FIATA, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations. On page 16, the organisation explains its vital role in helping the air cargo industry to become more “sustainable, humanitarian and prosperous”. Ultimately, this issue shows while it may have been a bumpy 2022 so far, there is a lot of hope for a bright future – I hope you enjoy reading it.