In the air-cargo industry, the most important development in 2006 will take place in December when Cargo 2000 will, for the first time, publish performance data for 100 percent of its members' networks. Currently, a relatively small proportion of network performance is measured, so results do not reflect an airline or forwarder's true performance. This is a vital step because it will mean that objective performance measurement replaces anecdote and myth. As the major global forwarders consolidate further and continue to reduce the number of airlines they use, it will be necessary for serious cargo airlines to be able to demonstrate competitive levels of service and a continuous improvement program if they hope to remain in an increasingly small "preferred" group.
The second change I hope to see in 2006 is a significant acceleration in the trend toward professionalism within the air-cargo industry. The industry cannot afford to operate at a loss just because some of its members are part of larger passenger airlines that treat cargo as a marginal business. This causes a downward spiral of low rates and lack of investment, in turn driving capable people to seek industries with more logical economics. We must make sure we understand our costs (while seeking to reduce them) and price our products accordingly if we want to see investment in aircraft and facilities.