How the air cargo industry is responding to the rise in e-commerce

James Wyatt, general manager of specialist aviation consultancy aeroconcept, offers his informed assessment of the rise of online retailing for air cargo operators

The challenges faced by the commercial aviation sector over the past 18-24 months are well-documented, with many of the most systemic issues continuing to pose significant headaches for airlines, airports and other key stakeholders. Yet within this cloud of chaos and confusion, there is one sub-sector of the industry which has been a beaming ray of sunshine: air cargo.

An Amazon Prime Air Boeing 767-300 BDSF, C-GAZI (c/n 25576), at Calgary

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the world’s awareness of – and reliance on – air freight as global supply chains came under increased pressure and consumers embraced online shopping. While e-commerce was a commodity very familiar to the air cargo industry, its exponential rise over the past two years was beyond even the wildest pre-pandemic forecasts.

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