By John McDermott
The Importance of Air Cargo to the Global Economy
As the world has become increasingly interconnected, expedited shipping has become crucial to maintaining a fast-paced industrial society. No industry has contributed more to the boom in shipping than the aviation industry, which has reduced shipping times from days or weeks to mere hours, even across oceans.
Before aviation became widespread, the only ways to ship goods were by boat, truck or train. This can be severely limited because boats are often required to take inconvenient routes – as they can only move where water is – and, even with more efficient routing, often take a long time to travel between far-away places. Meanwhile, trucks have limited capacity and, along with trains, are limited by infrastructure.
As air travel gained traction throughout the twentieth century, though, the rise of air cargo came with it, and the world was suddenly so much more reachable. Suddenly, entire countries could be traversed in just a day or two instead of weeks on road or rail. Before long, goods could be flown across oceans in mere hours, cutting travel times down to mere hours.
Speed isn’t the only benefit to air freight. As goods could be shipped more quickly, companies around the world suddenly had access to supplies that were once, for time or price constraints, impossible for them to access. But with faster shipping, companies around the world had access to supplies faster and cheaper, allowing them to slash prices and make their goods more accessible to the general population. Companies could also boost their own profits by taking advantage of these competitive prices, allowing not only for cheaper consumer goods but also offering more opportunity to enter lucrative industries supplied by the air cargo industry. And in turn, this boosted national economic growth that can trickle down to an entire country’s citizens.
Another benefit of the air cargo industry is security. Air transportation is the safest mode of transport in the world. Even when accidents do happen, they are unlikely to be catastrophic. In addition, airlines take advantage of secure handling measures to make sure that employees or third parties do not interfere with cargo. So businesses, individuals, governments and others who rely on air cargo know they are relying on a safe and secure mode of transport that will reliably move goods from one point to another.
The coronavirus pandemic is a prime example of the importance of air cargo services, especially internationally. Without airplanes, treatments and vaccines would be forced to travel between countries on rail, road or water. Moving specimens that need to be stored in precise conditions over long periods is a difficult task that would be a logistical nightmare without fast and reliable transport. But with airplanes, these same time-sensitive vaccines can reach foreign nations quickly, making the storage process easier.
Rather than betting the healths of others on relatively slow transportation, air cargo services facilitate easy transportation and boost coordination between world health departments. Air cargo’s unbeatable speed and cost-effectiveness will undoubtedly continue to save lives by distributing valuable health equipment throughout the rest of this pandemic.
This article is sponsored by Flightworx, one of the industry’s leaders in flight planning, operations and management, deliveries and maintenance, ground handling, and numerous other facets of the flight support field. Visit their website to learn more.