The value of the air cargo industry is one that is very much interwoven in the lives of the average person. From trading imports and exports to ensuring emergency deliveries are executed with precision and efficiency air cargo is one of the most effective ways to carry cargo at this time. Air cargo uses a commercial or larger aircraft to carry goods and results in direct delivery and tracking of a range of products. It can ensure that deliveries can be actioned before the day is over, but there are still many hurdles when it comes to air cargo.
The Advantages Of Air Cargo
With the advancement of a range of aircraft being used within air cargo, the process in which goods can be delivered is more streamlined than ever before. From offering direct delivery to offering flexible pricing based on weight rather than volume, air cargo is becoming more accessible to businesses and companies to use as a method of trade.
Although there are a number of environmental concerns when it comes to delivering goods via a charter, the way in which commercial flights are utilised for goods means that there is an active effort being made to reduce the amount of empty cargo space that is being flown out and in turn reducing the amount of impact that using air cargo has to the environment.
The Hurdles of Air Cargo
In the last year alone there have been so many changes in the way that everyday life is conducted and the reliance on air cargo has been more prominent than ever before. The logistics of the space within an airline needs to be increased to the demand of using air cargo. The extra capacity that is needed in the cargo hold is a hurdle that the air cargo industry has encountered during this time. The use of passenger aircraft for all-cargo flights became a solution that was used to overcome this hurdle and was granted by the civil aviation authorities. Because the demand for passenger planes used by actual passengers had significantly decreased, the use of the cargo space within them made sense. By using the passenger cabin for cargo, an extra 1000-1500 boxes can be accommodated. Over 90% of passenger flights were grounded in the initial lockdown, which meant that the utilisation of the charters was more vital than ever before.
A further obstacle to using the passenger cabin hold for cargo is the door size and the loading space. As this space was not designed specifically for cargo per se, some of the charter features do not align with the needs of cargo delivery but have been navigated around to help solve the issue.
(Image Source: Statista)
It wasn’t just the cargo space that has been a challenge during the time of the virus, but the issue of the importing and exporting locations. As the pandemic affected countries all around the globe, this also included primary manufacturers for certain products. The World Trade Organisation has posited that there will still be some time before flight networks are completely reflective of a time before pre-covid, and this of course is an obstacle that the air cargo and air freight industry has faced. Take the example of paracetamol based products, a mass-produced common household medication, that are manufactured in India and Chine for the most part. These two countries, in particular, were heavily regulated and on lockdown as a result of the pandemic which very much tipped the supply and demand ratio. The shift in trade has been a prominent struggle and hurdle since. However, although the dip in cargo air profits and demand has been affected, the next predicted economic spike is said to increase the use and need of air cargo and air freight. Using a charter is a global logistic network of forwarding handlers and delivery operators which are vital to the air cargo process.
The operations side of air cargo also raised some challenges, such as using alternative airports and ensuring that any secondary facilities that were being used had passed safety checks and new routes had to be established. Taking into account the use of passenger planes, as well as the manufacturers being confined within the rules of lockdown, the air cargo industry has a lot of unknown challenges that are in the process of being overcome and the changing circumstances of the trade industry mean that it will be adapting for the future.
Air cargo has provided a secure and effective method of transporting cargo, for which many businesses rely and the challenges that have been a result of the immense changes in the past year alone. As the demand for goods to be delivered to homes and the efficiency of which being expected to match, the use of air cargo has most certainly adapted to these demands.
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