Air cargo landscape changing but there will always be middlemen

10 / 10 / 2017

The air cargo landscape is undergoing change with more players seeking to control assets and enter the market, but there will always be a role for the middleman, according to one speaker at the Caspian Air Cargo Summit.

Speaking at the two-day conference in Baku, PAS Aviation Logistics managing director Peter Scholten explained that there were new entrants to the market and traditional roles were changing.

He gave the example of Amazon leasing 40 aircraft from Atlas Air Worldwide and ATSG, while Alibaba has become a majority owner of a logistics company.

Freight forwarders were also looking to gain greater control over their networks, with Panalpina and DHL Global Forwarding leasing freighters.

There are also examples of GSAs, shippers and consolidators operating their own freighter flights, amongst many other examples of traditional roles in air cargo changing.

Meanwhile, Scholten responded to recent reports that claimed IT solutions and the new the new IATA-FIATA Air Cargo Agreement would pave the way for airlines to engage directly with shippers.

He said that while the forwarder landscape was changing, like the overall cargo market, the industry would always have a role to play.

He explained that airlines already had a big role to play and may not necessarily want to expand beyond looking after aircraft acquisition, aircraft productivity, safety, crew, maintenance and traffic rights.

He added that most airlines were passenger focused and lacked the global infrastructure required to serve shippers.