Businesses may have adopted a wait and see approach but whatever the future holds, trade will continue to flow says Chris O’Donnell, managing director UK for Air Logistics Group (ALG).
He says the UK market has softened significantly since the end of 2018, and though Brexit is partly responsible, it is also part of the natural economic cycle happening across the world.
The first half of 2019 has been challenging due to unpredictability with Brexit, trade wars, currency volatility and economic tension all playing a part, something that is expected to continue for the remainder of the year.
Though Brexit is causing uncertainty, O’Donnell comments: “Business is much stronger than politics and it always finds a path to continue to operate and grow for the needs of the ever-expanding number of people that we have on the globe. Brexit is a bump in the road that brings opportunity for the air cargo industry.”
Air Logistics Group, which is celebrating its 25th birthday this year, has offices at London Heathrow, East Midlands, Manchester and Dublin airports, which O’Donnell says helps cover the whole of the UK and Ireland.
He says: “Our sales teams are regularly ‘on the road’ to meet key clients across the UK, while being based in the major cargo hubs in the UK means we are close to the action on a day-to-day basis.”
O’Donnell is happy with Air Logistics Group’s portfolio of airlines in the UK. He says: “We have a great portfolio of airlines in the UK, representing carriers both online and offline with a mix of wide body and narrow body aircraft. Air Logistics manages over 45 daily flight departures from the UK.”
Looking to the future, O’Donnell confidently expects to see continued consolidation and airline customers requiring additional services such as business intelligence, fiscal and IT solutions.
O’Donnell comments: “The demand for more digitalisation is a challenge that Air Logistics has embraced head on. ALG has invested significantly in IT and back office functions over the years to offer a cost-effective solution to airlines in a multitude of cargo fields such as sales, revenue accounting, trucking management and business intelligence.”
The e-commerce boom will also continue, and O’Donnell predicts airlines will turn to GSSAs to invest in digital services.
He says: “Airlines and their suppliers will need to continue to evolve to deliver on the demands of the large e-commerce companies that bring huge influence into the airline cargo industry. The airlines that have invested into e-commerce will emerge to be the market leaders over the coming years.”