Date of issue:30/09/2012
This issue kicks off with our Top cargo airports report, examining the performance of ACI’s 100 busiest global freight hubs in 2011 and some of the trends in 2012, including analysis of regional figures and a handful of interesting cargo airports outside of the top 100. It is a chunky seven-page report, so if you find it a bit text-heavy, take a break to read some of the other articles – or just look at the pictures and charts!
Whatever you do, make sure you read Michael Webber’s insightful analysis of North American airport cargo trends on pages 14-19. Mike has a tremendous knowledge of airports within this region (and around the world), and he isn’t afraid to express his views. And with North America so often leading where others follow, his penetrating observations have implications globally.
Megan Ramsay’s article on consolidation among air cargo handlers (pages 20-25) is another must-read, looking at how the international expansion by the likes of Swissport and WFS is shaping the sector, and at the implications for airlines, independents and overall quality.
This month’s interviews include Mark Whitehead from Hactl (pages 26-29), discussing the migration of the handler’s biggest and oldest customer Cathay Pacific to its own terminal next year.
The Outlook for 2013 article on pages 42-46 includes more than a dozen executives and analysts bravely sticking their respective necks out to give some predictions for the year ahead. My thanks to them and to all our editorial contributors.
We review some of the discussions from this year’s Air Cargo Handling conference on pages 30-32, followed by a report on one of the key sessions from the conference, ‘What more can airports do?’.
This issue is quite airport and cargo-handler focused, partly to include some of the results of a survey of cargo airports by CA&S. However, future issues will also include dedicated sections from the perspectives of airlines and forwarders, along with focus pieces on IT, HR, GSE and property – all with a focus on the airport cargo environment.
We always welcome constructive feedback and suggestions for future articles, and I am keen to publish articles written by industry members and analysts, so please let us have your ideas and proposals. Thanks also to our advertisers in this issue and over the past year. I know it is tough out there, and your support for the magazine and its editorial efforts on behalf of the air cargo sector is much appreciated.
Date of issue:01/03/2012
It has been a challenging few months, and it seems likely that the global air freight market overall will remain flat at best in 2012. Compared with the strong first half of 2011, year-on-year figures are likely to show some significant declines in these first few months, although those comparisons will improve in the second half of the year, and there are no signs of volumes dropping off a cliff the way they did in late 2008 and early 2009.
Air freight has become used to peaks and troughs, and most people will have learned further lessons from the 2008-2009 decline, in ways to build operational flexibility into their businesses. Or if not, they should have done… Managing volatility has become a key competitive tool, or survival tool.
There are areas that are also still experiencing growth, and the liberalisation of aviation services is continuing in various parts of the world, bringing opportunities for international organisations. Some of the opportunities and challenges in Asia are discussed on pages 6-11 of this issue.
Meanwhile, there will be companies looking to take advantage of challenges facing their competitors, making acquisitions at reduced prices and consolidating or forming alliances that help create efficiencies.
Not everyone will have the cashflow – or the confidence – to make counter-cyclical investments, but there is a need for creativity and innovative thinking in challenging times, in order to identify opportunities. One example of this is discussed within the Interview article on pages 28-30, where Menzies, accepting the fact that forwarders wanted airside warehousing space at Amsterdam Schiphol, adapted their business model to allow Ceva and MOL Logistics to operate from within the Menzies facility.
This kind of innovation, partnership, and integration can help companies survive and prosper in challenging times, but can also move the sector forward to a place where both customers’ and suppliers’ needs are being fulfilled better than before, and the airport space is made to operate more efficiently.
Air freight has been discussing how to compete with the ‘integrators’ for more than 30 years, and intelligent ‘integration’ of the handling facilities of customers and suppliers may be one way towards achieving that.
Necessity can be the mother of creation, and perhaps also of integration.
Date of issue:08/11/2011
Trouble in Brussels, The court case over the awarding of the airport's licences has left ground handlers in limbo. Will Waters assesses the arguments on both sides.
Security, Safety in layers Martin Roebuck explores the latest developments in this 10-year saga, and finds the US authorities finally listening to the international air cargo sector. But global harmonisation is still a pipe dream.
Opinion, Ten years on The Air forwarders Association's Brandon Fried charts progress in air cargo security since the day that changed aviation.
ACI, analysis best of the bunch ACI's official Top 100 Cargo Airports listing records some eye-watering growth figures, in an extraordinary year of recovery.
Recipe for success Will Waters discovers the winning formula for making an airport attractive to cargo airlines and their customers.
Spotting a white elephant, Michael Webber explores the successes and failures of cargo airport projects in the US, and asks whether some developers are deceiving themselves and investors.
Asian airports are catching up with investments in temperature-controlled handling facilities, to cash in on a fresh opportunity, writes Mike King.
Jo Murray talks to Celebi Cargo's de facto head of western European operations, and finds a company keen to spread its living technology.
Swissport's cargo crusader tells Will Waters of his desire to take e-freight and Cargo 2000 to the next level.