Demand for express operators has gone through the roof as more and more consumers have turned to online shopping in the face of Covid-19.According to Glyn Hughes, head of cargo for the International Air Transport Association (Iata), this has sparked increased demand for air cargo around the world.
“E-commerce is a growing trend that will see the demand for express cargo operators continue to escalate – and we expect to see an increase in air cargo demand alongside this.”
He said the express industry was well placed at present and had managed to perform exceptionally well in the midst of national lockdowns and quarantine policies worldwide.
“The industry at large has proven to be extremely resilient amidst one of the biggest crises the world has ever experienced. They are also probably the best placed to assist in the distribution of a vaccine once this is developed and available.”
He told Freight News that the past few months had been difficult for all operators using air freight because of the massive drop in capacity as airlines around the world grounded passenger aircraft. The closing of border crossings had further affected the smooth transit of cargo. “The express industry rose to the numerous challenges,” said Hughes.
Commenting on concerns that large e-commerce companies such as Amazon and Alibaba would take delivery in-house, Hughes said he did not see this as a threat to the express courier industry. “Yes, it is a form of competition, but if one looks at the broader picture then instead of these companies taking a slice of the pie they are in fact making the pie larger – not just for the express sector but for air cargo in general.”