Times are uncertain and a flexible supply chain is vital, particularly in the air–cargo sector which is playing a critical role in maintaining the expedited movement of goods and perishables, in this rapidly evolving environment we all find ourselves in. Not only is global transport crucial for communities, it is also providing much needed business to airlines during the current pandemic.
With this in mind, we are looking to the future. Here at AEROTUF, we have been discussing how much more integral air-cargo will be, especially for the transport of perishables within our worldwide infrastructure, in a post-Covid19 world. We are seeing unique flexibility within air-cargo, particularly with the use of passenger aircrafts for the movement of freight cargo. We are acutely aware of the urgency to react to the unique crisis we find ourselves in, and are keeping one eye on the future to ensure that once these short-term challenges have passed, we evolve and move into a stronger market.
WHERE WE WERE
Despite debate around environmental impacts, Global trade within the cargo market has been the backbone of many local, national and international economies and the consumers within them. Whilst we have seen cargo volumes decline over the last 4 years at a rate of around 3% (YoY), the share of commodity type has experienced a dramatic shift. Share of basket has seen a lift in perishables, with this category growing by +7% within the same timeframe (YoY).
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
We foresee an increasing demand for flexibility within supply chains, especially in dynamic climates where capacity can dip or spike suddenly. At AEROTUF, we have been working on solutions for such flexibility with our innovation programmes, which has enabled us to be a step ahead in the current situation. For example, critical assets such as robust and durable ULD’s may be called on for multiple applications, from baggage to the aforementioned perishables, and general cargo.
During the current climate and for years to come, it is critical there are solutions within our market that are easily adaptable for multiple application usage. We see demand increasing for solutions that can be diverse when needed, yet effectively repositioned into supply chain as regular assets.
At AEROTUF we believe that, in a post-Covid19 world, there will be a targeted focus on more solution-driven assets as part of an airline supply chain, including ULD’s which spend less time being repaired and more time in the air. Supporting this, resilient ULD solutions have been shown to give a 4-6% cargo fleet reduction due to greater efficiency of deployed assets.
There are still many unanswered questions, and are likely to be for the foreseeable future. When will Covid19 really be ‘gone’? If it, or something like it, comes back, how will cargo cope? What flexibility will need to be built into a supply chain to cope in potential future pandemics? We are curious as to how the processes and regulations around the clearance of cargo will change following this pandemic – will we see enhanced moment opportunities whilst maintaining security in international trade?
The use of our product, AeroTHERM, can mean higher revenue, with less losses. Protecting cargo from extreme temperatures usually means multiple solutions for one application that can be challenging to source in times of crisis. At AEROTUF, our innovation strategy has allowed us to be prepared for such challenging times, as countless hours of research, development and investments has meant the AeroTHERM is in the market and ready to support the supply chain, as a single solution for multiple applications.
Innovation is always on the horizon, how global supply builds strengthened continuity whilst minimizing business disruption and cost is a topic we expect to hear more from. However, addressing how cargo copes in times which demand such flexibility, can only push the industry forward into a more resilient and dynamic space, opening up the conversation for us all to make sustainable decisions.