Positive sentiments to drive 2020 air cargo market

Published: Tuesday, December 24, 2019

The year 2019 has been far from bright for the air cargo industry. However, forecast suggests that improvements are in order for 2020 after a challenging 2019.

To put the numbers in context, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), cargo traffic turned negative last year for the first time since 2012. The annual decline of 3.3 percent in demand is the steepest drop since 2009 during the global financial crisis in 2007-2008.

According to the global airlines organization, freight tonnes carried are expected to recover to 62.4 million, a 2 percent increase over 61.2 million tonnes carried in 2019, which was the lowest figure in three years.
AIR CARGO INDIA 2020, to be held from 25 to 27 February 2020 at Grand Hyatt in Mumbai, comes at an opportune time to deliberate on the status of the industry that has taken a beating due to geopolitical conflicts and the US-China trade impasse, among other factors.

Positive sentiments are driving the industry, and the IATA expects the cargo traffic to rebound moderately with 2 percent growth in 2020, and reach 62.4 million tons, which is still below the 2018 result. A 3 percent decline in 2020, an improvement from a 5 percent decline in 2019 for yields is expected. However, total cargo revenue in 2020 is expected to total $101.2 billion, down 1.1 percent from 2019, a slip for a third year in a row.

Looking back on the year gone by and making forecasts for 2020, Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO of IATA said, “Slowing economic growth, trade wars, geopolitical tensions and social unrest, plus continuing uncertainty over Brexit all came together to create a tougher than anticipated business environment for airlines. Yet the industry managed to achieve a decade in the black, as restructuring and cost-cutting continued to pay dividends. It appears that 2019 will be the bottom of the current economic cycle and the forecast for 2020 is somewhat brighter. The big question for 2020 is how capacity will develop, particularly when, as expected, the grounded 737 MAX aircraft return to service and delayed deliveries arrive.”

As IATA expresses the optimism of a brighter 2020, Glyn Hughes, Global Head of Cargo, IATA will moderate the inaugural session on the main theme ‘State of digitalization in the Air Cargo Industry’ at AIR CARGO INDIA 2020. Subsequent panel discussions will provide an opportunity for introspection, brainstorming, and initiating a dialogue that can eventually translate into actionable plans.

Apart from exhibitions and panel discussions on pertinent industry topics, the flagship Air Shipper Forums on Perishables, Pharma, Air and eCommerce will offer a platform for the exchange of opinions and ideas, along with meaningful networking opportunities. The Forums are supported by Bangalore Airport, Pharma.aero, Frankfurt Airport and Miami International Airport, respectively.

AIR CARGO INDIA also has onboard Zeal Global Group as the Platinum Sponsor, GMR Cargo as the Gold Partner, Atlas Air as the Exhibitor Lanyard Partner, Skyways Group as the Visitor Lanyard Partner, CargoFlash as the Delegate Bag sponsor and Cathay Pacific Cargo as the sponsor for Cafeteria & Visitor Bags. IBS Software and Unisys have come onboard as Track Sponsors.

As world trade is expected to rebound in 2020, IATA expects a small windfall for the air cargo volumes.
The last edition of AIR CARGO INDIA witnessed participation from 2,354 visitors, 74 exhibitors and 478 delegates. As the current tide changes, the 2020 edition of AIR CARGO INDIA is expected to be bigger and better in terms of networking opportunities and knowledge exchange.