View from the Top: Global Air Cargo CEO Survey

Air cargo is showing signs of life again, but continued economic and competitive pressures point to commoditization and industry consolidation.

Highlights of the Study:

  • Air cargo executives are cautious about projected improvements in 2010, but almost all foresee a return to 2007 levels within 1-3 years.
  • Customer buying preferences and patterns have permanently shifted. Customers will continue to be highly price-sensitive and will evaluate alternative transport modes to meet their shipping needs for segments with slower supply chain requirements.
  • 2 out of 3 industry executives are focusing their short-term investments on e-freight. Security improvements, cold-chain capabilities, and lightweight containers are other investment priorities.
  • Commoditization is, by far, the biggest threat to profitability. To succeed in the air cargo space, firms need to better diversify their risk, develop more flexible financing models, and be more nimble at capacity planning.

Oliver Wyman, with the support of IATA, surveyed top executives from the world’s leading global cargo carriers in order to gain a clearer perspective on the industry: where it has been, where it is heading, and perhaps most interesting, how it will get there. We conducted more than 30 surveys and in-depth interviews with CEOs and heads of cargo in Q1 of this year across the top 50 air cargo companies. Respondents hailed from Europe (36%), Asia (19%), the Middle East (17%), and Latin America (16%). North America, Russia, and Africa were also represented. Combination carriers accounted for slightly more than half (52%) of participants. Belly carriers accounted for 32%, and all-cargo carriers for 16%, of participants.

View from the Top: Global Air Cargo CEO Survey