An IAG Cargo survey with freight forwarders has found that the most pressing challenge in the air cargo industry is talent attraction and retention, with 79 per cent of respondents identifying talent as either a very significant or significant challenge.
The report, Cargo Next, identifies the key trends and expectations of forwarders within the next 12 months,. It garnered the views of more than 400 freight forwarders in 47 countries on perceptions of the air cargo industry this year.
Other findings were 70 per cent of forwarders are expecting the rate of technological change to increase in the year ahead, in comparison to one year ago, and 81 per cent believe technological innovation will have a positive impact on their business.
And 55 per cent of those surveyed identified increased automation and digitalisation as the most important trends in the air freight industry in the near future, followed by the growth of e-commerce (41 per cent).
Trade tensions came up third in importance for freight forwarders, with 29 per cent of survey respondents listing trade tensions dampening growth as a very significant or significant trend.
IAG Cargo director of strategy and revenue optimisation, Enikö Matanov said: “We are hugely encouraged by the global appetite of freight forwarders to implement real change in the fields of digitalisation and automation.
“The scope for digitalisation and automation to transform the cargo industry is huge. We are dedicated to bringing advancements from within and outside the air cargo industry to continually improve and deliver the best service for our customers.
“Our work in this area has accelerated significantly in recently years. We are working with start-ups from the Hangar 51 accelerator programme, trialling new technologies and investing in innovation to improve the way we work.
“We have further developed our APIs, enabling real-time information on rates, available capacities, and routing options via e-booking platforms, customer booking systems, and IAGCargo.com, providing a one-stop shop for freight forwarders.”
The survey respondents included 42 per cent from Europe, 19 per cent from the Americas, 35 per cent from Asia and four per cent from the rest of the world. Responses also reflect the differences in view depending on company size, with 67 per cent of participants coming from businesses with less than 200 employees and 33 per cent from larger players.
The full survey results, with perspectives from leaders in the industry, are available on http://marketing.iagcargo.com/report/cargo-next