The battle rages on over air cargo carriers
Over recent years, more and more carriers are picking up cargo on the side to help create a little bit more revenue whenever possible. While this can be great for some carriers, there are also carriers that focus solely on cargo, causing them to lose out on business. With the increase in air cargo needs that the first quarter of 2014 saw, this may not seem like a major issue, but since that number has shown signs of stagnation, this could have some long-term effects on some air cargo carriers.
The Problems Air Cargo Carriers Are Facing
The biggest problem that most air cargo carriers face on a regular basis is the delay between getting an order, having it delivered to them, and the delivery of the product where it needs to go. The average wait time for this process is just shy of one full week (6.5 days currently), which causes a lot of people to try and find faster alternatives. The main reason that this time has shot up to where it is now, is because of all of the 'red tape' paperwork that accompanies air freight. This can make the process time nearly double, and unfortunately, there is very little that can be done to hasten this process from an outsider's point of view.
Options the Air Cargo Carriers Have
One option that these carriers have is to decrease the total number of planes in their operation. However, this also decreases the potential work they can take in, potentially causing more harm than savings. Another option is to combine orders between multiple customers instead of dedicating themselves to one customer at a time. While this may help ease some of the burden, it can also cause problems. Orders could get mixed up, larger orders could slide and ruin smaller orders, or it may take a while to fill a plane with a bunch of smaller orders, which is the only cost-effective method for planes to travel. The only other realistic option that these air cargo carriers have is to band together and try and get some of the waiting times for paperwork decreased. The biggest problem here, is that there is no guarantee for a positive result with this, and it could end up causing more problems than it has the potential to solve.
What Future Does Air Cargo Carriers Have?
At the end of the day, the life of air cargo carriers may be on the verge of extinction if they cannot do more than one job at a time. Diversification is the name of the game right now, which is what passenger planes have had to do, but there comes a certain point where freight carriers may not have any other options in front of them. What these carriers may end up having to do is set themselves apart from their competition, by a dedicated specialization they can offer that no other carrier is able to offer at the same level of expertise. Since there has been no real increase since 2010 in the quantity of goods that need to be freighted around the world via air, it may be time for these carriers to figure out what types of specializations they can offer the resilient customers that are still looking for help with air transportation of their goods.