By Sebastiaan Scholte, Chairman, TIACA, and Chief Executive Officer, Jan de Rijk Logistics
The air cargo industry looks set to continue on a path of growth and expansion in 2019, although this may be somewhat tame when compared to the last 12 months.
Many of us in the airfreight business were caught off guard by last year’s demand for air transport of cargo, which led to both new opportunities for business and unexpected challenges.
Generally, as a result of being unprepared, there were higher-than-usual waiting times, congestion, and a capacity shortage. This year everybody was much better prepared.
This also looks set to be less of a problem in the forthcoming year, with many of the major industry forecast reports, many of which were announced at our October Air Cargo Forum in Toronto, Canada, predicting a slight slowdown in growth.
Everything comes in cycles, and airfreight is no different.
There were many challenges we faced in the last year that may continue to pose as an issue in 2019, such as the threat of an escalating trade war, protectionism, and rising political instability in certain parts of the globe.
We have also been met by a labour shortage which needs addressing, as well as the need for industry to better adopt new technologies in order to become more efficient, transparent, and productive.
For TIACA, it has also been a year beset by much change.
We became more global than we ever have been before, forming strategic partnerships and alliances with associations and organisations on nearly every continent in the world.
This year saw us redefine the TIACA strategy as a whole, as well as take positive steps towards improving our financial situation.
We have formed a basis on which we will continue to grow and stay relevant in a changing air cargo universe, something that we will resume in the new year.
We signed a new partnership with Germany-based global trade organizer Messe Munchen, who are now looking after our signature Air Cargo Forum, which I believe will lead to even more positive change for our association.
TIACA can also stand proud for having enacted its new Cargo Service Quality (CSQ) initiative, which is being adopted by airports and forwarders across the globe in order to drive up standards and quality.
Training is another concept that we have embraced significantly over the past year, with new initiatives with TSA Group and Brussels Airport Community, in addition to our other usual training initiatives.
We also carried out a successful Air Cargo Supply Chain Internship along with our partners Air Canada Cargo, which involved young people from a number of different supply chain companies learning from each other’s businesses and networking.
TIACA will continue to advocate for air cargo’s best interests, putting our industry on the map, and preaching about our pivotal role in world trade.
We look forward to hosting our Executive Summit later this year, details coming soon.
TIACA wishes you and yours a Happy Holiday Season and Prosperous New Year!