2013 Annual Review & Outlook - Air Cargo

2013 Annual Review & Outlook - Air Cargo

The international air cargo industry is struggling under the weight of an issue familiar to its cousin on the sea: overcapacity. Its nature largely international, air freight has encountered severe headwinds as the eurozone fiscal crisis and middling economic recovery in the U.S. put pressure on demand for exports out of Asia, especially China. And, with shippers putting ever more emphasis on cost-cutting, more traditional airborne products are shifting to other modes of transportation. The exceptions, of course, are high-value products such as Apple iPhones and iPads that tend to create temporary spikes in volume and underpin the industry.

With labor disputes heating up on the ocean side of freight transportation, however, the air cargo industry closed 2012 on a strong note as shippers wary of having their goods tied up at anchor shifted to air. That could provide some momentum for this year, just as a new fleet of widebody planes with more expansive freight capacity enter the market.

Index of all Annual Review & Outlook comments, alphabetical by company

Commentary

James Welch knows a thing or two about business. So when the CEO of trucking operator YRC Worldwide and architect of the largest corporate turnaround in recent memory delivers a message like he did recently to his staff, shippers and carriers of all types should take notice.

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