The importance of air cargo to the global economy

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As the world has become increasingly interconnected, expedited shipping has become crucial to growing the global economy and facilitating global trade. While only 2-3% of total cargo volume travels by air each year, that small amount accounts for approximately 35% of total cargo value. Annually, that equates to over $6 trillion worth of goods that rely on the air freight industry for its speed, security, and reliability.

Air cargo is utilised overwhelmingly for products in five sectors — equipment, consumer electronics, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, and retail products sectors — which comprise nearly 90% of total air cargo. However, air cargo is used by companies across market sectors and geographic regions to connect them to new customers and suppliers that would not otherwise be accessible.

Benefits of Air Cargo

In recent decades, the aviation industry has become the most effective means of transporting cargo in a safe and timely manner. Air cargo revolutionised the shipping industry, vastly reducing shipping times for freight across the world compared to popular alternatives such as trucks and boats.  As goods could be shipped more quickly, companies around the world suddenly had access to supplies that were once, for time or price constraints, impossible for them to access. 

This allowed them to reduce prices and make their goods more accessible to the general population. Companies could boost profits by taking advantage of these competitive prices, allowing not only for cheaper consumer goods but also offering more opportunity to enter other lucrative industries.

Another benefit of air freight is security. Air transportation is the safest mode of transport in the world, with accidents resulting in the loss of cargo happening far less than with transportation via road or sea. 

Airlines have secure handling measures in place to ensure staff or third parties do not interfere with cargo. In conjunction with technological advances in cargo handling such as freight tracking, air cargo provides a safe and secure mode of transport for goods and products.

In Practice

The global response to the COVID-19 pandemic is a prime example of the importance of air cargo services, particularly internationally. Major cargo airlines have served as key elements of vaccine distribution chains thus far. 

The low storage temperatures required for vaccines necessitate fast travel, and the high value of the first doses of the vaccines mean security is paramount.

Rather than putting the health of others at risk with relatively slow transportation, air cargo services facilitate simplified transportation. Air cargo’s speed and cost-effectiveness will undoubtedly continue to save lives by distributing valuable health equipment throughout the rest of this pandemic.

Moving Forward

While international travel has been widely restricted throughout 2020, air cargo has continued to play a crucial role in the movement of goods, with some passenger airlines operating cargo-only flights to help meet demand. As the global economy recovers from its 2020 slump, air cargo carriers and affiliates will play a critical role in facilitating that rally, allowing businesses to more quickly respond to upswings in demand in the coming years.   

Contact The Flightworx Team Today

Feel free to contact the team at Flightworx today for advice on cargo operations and cargo airline support services