The international air freight industry will continue to evolve, consolidate, and redefine the notion of delivery. Providers will need to offer differentiated solutions, in partnership with best-in-class technology and regional partnerships. Emerging opportunities include cold chain, near real-time visibility, and alerts, as well as deliveries via Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). Challenges ranging from over capacity to pricing pressures and the need for high daily aircraft usage rates will force further consolidation and specialization of services and aircraft.
Air freight is no exception to the disruptive influence of digitization. Longstanding forwarders are facing pressures, including carriers developing and enhancing digital and direct offerings to underserved verticals, specialists in digital forwarding that provide specific point solutions, and competing digital forwarders with a broader range of logistics solutions, often at lower price points.
Evolving air freight technologies include a wealth of options, ranging from digital aviation platforms and blockchain to cold chain, equipment, and cargo tracking, Artificial Intelligence (AI)/machine learning, automation, electrification, and new form factors will include drones and robotics. Digitization of paperwork alone has a material impact on this market. Competitors who do not embrace the evolution and lag behind early adopters will have to face inefficiencies, decreased profits, their partners, and their customers.