WCS faces up to industry challenges

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) concluded its 10th World Air Cargo Symposium (WCS) after facing up to the numerous challenges confronting the industry with a substantial number of unanswered questions and a handful of new commitments and initiatives to deliver greater value to customers and enhance air cargo’s ability to bring economic and social benefits to the world.

IATA world cargo symposium

“The air cargo industry has had a rollercoaster ride over the last decade. But the continued success of the World Cargo Symposium, culminating in a record attendance of over 1,100 delegates in Berlin this year, shows the commitment of the industry to share best practice and generate action plans to tackle the industry’s greatest challenges,” said Glyn Hughes, IATA’s global head of cargo.

pic2Discussions over four days at the WCS focused on the challenge of potentially disruptive new technologies and changing business models. The international economy is also changing, as growth markets mature and the global supply chain evolves. “Air cargo must be ready for this uncertain future,” Hughes added.

In his opening address on day one of the event, IATA director general and CEO Tony Tyler called for continued transformation in the air cargo industry with a focus on raising the quality of its offering.

The global air cargo sector continues to face a difficult business environment. The anemic growth experienced since 2010 continued in 2015 with a 1.9  per cent expansion of volumes but yields have contracted every year since 2012.

IATA estimates that volume growth will increase to 3.0 per cent in 2016 but under ever greater pressure from integrators, competing modes of transport (land and sea) and increased cargo capacity in the passenger fleet, yields are expected to fall a further 5.5 per cent in 2016.