Quest for Quality Air Carriers/Freight Forwarders: Service improvement story in the air

By Staff
August 01, 2013 - LM Editorial

As Logistics Management has been reporting, the global outlook for the airline industry in terms of profit and revenue has recently brightened—just a little—according to reports form the International Air Transport Association (IATA). And even while margins remain razor thin, 2013 is projected to be the third strongest year for the airlines since 2001.

“This is a very tough business,” says Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO. “The day-to-day challenges of keeping revenues ahead of costs remain monumental.” Macroeconomic factors have also contributed, Tyler adds. Oil prices are expected to average $108 per barrel, a little below the $111.8 average for 2012 due to increasing supply from North America. Meanwhile, the outlook for global economic growth has deteriorated slightly since March as the recession in Europe proves to be deeper than expected.

However, industry analysts contend that while profitability remains a struggle, there’s been a solid performance improvement story to tell in the sector over the last seven to eight years, with a more efficient use of assets carrying the theme.

And while global shippers are pushing the limits of these service improvements, we’ve also learned that their freight forwarding partners, those key agents responsible for much of the organization of airborne freight, are responding to the new global demand and have adjusted their business models in response to carrier challenge as well as adverse economic demands.

According to Brandon Fried, executive director of the Airforwarders Association, few rarely focus on one single transport mode anymore, and most offer ancillary services formerly reserved for third party logistics providers. “For example, forwarders once specializing only in next day air cargo may now offer various air service levels and ocean shipping to fit tight customer budgets,” says Fried.

According to the readers of Logistics Management, the air cargo carriers and freight forwarders listed this year have certainly met the pressing global demands over the past 12 months and continue to reinvent themselves while maintaining world-class service.

2013 Quest for Quality Winners Categories


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