Will freighter plane become a thing of the past?
Airlines should rethink their cargo operations as more cargo shifts to passenger planes and back onto the seas. Air freight built a reputation for being the fastest way to transport bulky, expensive goods. Today $6.8 trillion worth of goods transported by air cargo every year represents 35 percent of international trade by value but only 0.5 percent of total volumes. The paperwork has increased and the average time to shift a product from the manufacturer to the final importer is 6.5 days.
The International Air Transport Association, predicts cargo volumes will total about 52 million tonnes this year, which is unchanged since 2010. Airlines have so far reacted to the tough cargo market by cutting capacity and taking freighters out of service.
IATA wants its members to shave 48 hours off shipping times - pointing out that of the 6.5 days on average it takes to get air freight from door to door, only a few hours is actually spent in the air.