The transport logistic exhibitions, the transport logistic and air cargo cluster of Messe München, successfully organised a new, purely digital and worldwide platform with the Global Webinar Day. On November 12, more than 1,800 international logistics experts exchanged views on current developments at the six transport logistic/air cargo locations. Messe München’s Global Webinar Day offered a wide range of topics with regional focuses. Decision-makers and experts from the logistics industry shared current assessments and provided valuable insights into the markets of China, India, Turkey, Africa, Europe and the USA.
Strengthening the Indian airfreight market In India, the organisers discussed the question “When will India become a leading power in the global air freight market?” Here Sanjeev Gupta, CEO of SpiceXpress, demanded that Indian airlines should wake up and face the challenge of moving international freight and thus become an air cargo hub between East and West. Only in this way could the goal of ten million tons of cargo handled by 2027 be achieved. The experts agreed that all players in the industry, such as airports, airlines and shippers, but also the government, must work together to strengthen the location. They should concentrate more on strengthening a few hubs and expanding digital processes. Gautam Mandal, Director Products, Cargo Flash Infotech, pointed out particularly great potential in the use of blockchain for the global air freight industry.
More efficiency through digitisation in Turkey
During the webinar with the title “What are Turkey’s chances of becoming the logistics hub for Eurasia?” the experts from Turkey also saw great opportunities in digitization for the logistics industry. According to Turhan Özen, Chief Cargo Officer of the Turkish carrier, although Turkish Airlines had lost almost 95 percent of its belly capacities due to the Corona pandemic, the company was able to significantly accelerate its digital initiatives. Özen predicted that Turkey would be a global air cargo hub by 2024. Emre Eldener, President of the Association of International Freight Forwarding and Logistics Service Providers (UTIKAD), also said: “The digitalisation of customs clearance procedures will simplify processes with regard to transit freight, so that the Turkish logistics industry will be even more efficient in three years’ time”.
The pandemic is changing the African airfreight location
Experts from South Africa provided insights into how the changes by the corona pandemic have also brought opportunities for the airfreight market in Africa. Peter Musola, Manager, Cargo Commercial at Kenya Airways, explained to the interested audience that many foreign airlines had withdrawn from the market, which initially caused capacity bottlenecks. However, Kenya Airways seized the opportunity and completed more than 1,000 cargo flights from April 2020 to date. However, a clear legal framework was needed to further strengthen the location. Sanjeev Gadhia, CEO & founder of Astral Aviation, also said: “There must be resilient strategies. Africa is still the most expensive air freight market due to high taxes and the infrastructure needs to be further developed”. However, AFRAA is working closely with TIACA and IATA to further liberalise the airfreight sector in Africa.
Europe – Supply chain synchronisation continues
At the European location, the experts gave an outlook on the development of supply chains and the economy for the next six months. Prof. Dr. Dennis Ostwald, Managing Director of the WifOR Institute in Darmstadt, predicted that the GDP in Europe would fall by 7.5 percent this year. In his opinion, the current crisis is a much bigger one than in 2009. According to Jan C. Fransoo, Professor of Operations and Logistics Management, Tilburg School of Economics and Management at Tilburg University, there will be considerable fluctuations in the next four months due to the lockdowns in many European countries.
However, governments are ensuring that there is liquidity and that unemployment rates remain moderate. As a result, people would continue to be willing to consume, but this would result in a sharp drop in inventories. Prof. Fransoo said that the individual transport companies had to be flexible and should not look at the longterm contracts. Felix Herzog, Associate Partner for Aerospace OEM & Supplier at Porsche Consulting, pointed out that the recovery time for the aerospace industry will be at least 24 to 36 months due to COVID-19.
“The industry must find a way to adjust production rates to reflect local markets. With supply chains no longer under pressure, this is an excellent time for manufacturers and logistics providers to rethink business models and service portfolios. We need to use the time now to optimise production lines and supply chains for the reviving business,” he appealed to the audience.
Major upswing in e-commerce and pharmaceuticals
America concluded the transport logistic exhibitions Global Webinar Day 2020 with an outlook on “Trends that will shape the growth of the airfreight business on the American continent after the pandemic”. Steve Townes, Chairman and CEO of ACL Airshop, said that the COVID-19 pandemic is the worst crisis in the entire air freight industry. Airlines defied the situation by establishing so-called “preighters” to transport vital goods. Efficient ULD management is particularly important due to the continuing uncertainties. Not only ACL Airshop noticed this, but also other international specialists for ULD management such as Jettainer or Unilode. Robert Fordree, Executive Vice President Cargo at Menzies Aviation, also said that they had experienced a significant upswing in pharmaceuticals and e-commerce around the world.
Despite the pandemic, 580,000 e-commerce transactions per second were made on Single Day in China alone. As a ground handler, the company saw enormous fluctuations from massive peaks to a sharp drop in activity, so it faced the challenge of planning for this. Fordree warned that the world had neither the infrastructure nor cold chains to meet the temperature requirements and especially the freezing of vaccines everywhere. All experts agreed that close cooperation between all players was needed to meet the challenge.
Cooperation and exchange are more important than ever
Messe München is satisfied with the Global Webinar Day. “Due to the worldwide corona pandemic, all foreign events of the transport logistic network had to be cancelled since March. With the Global Webinar Day, we have therefore created a new platform for the exchange of ideas and experiences in the international logistics industry. The webinars were very well received. This shows us once again how important exchange within the industry is. We are therefore looking forward to the coming trade fair year with general optimism,” said Gerhard Gerritzen, Member of the Management Board of Messe München GmbH, and at the same time thanked all the partner companies who helped organise the event. Messe München had involved MM Shanghai, MM India, EKO MMI and MM South Africa as well as the STAT Media Group in the planning.