While many regions in the world—especially Latin America and Africa—are experiencing significant growth in their air freight markets, other regions are seeing a far more sluggish market. In Europe, for example, economic troubles have resulted in relatively weak demand. In order to succeed, carriers competing in that area need to find ways to streamline their supply chain and save costs wherever possible.
European carriers are facing their stiffest competition from Middle Eastern carriers, according to an article in Air Cargo World.
"Formidable competitors in the Middle East are offering huge networks and operate to high standards," Oliver Evans, chief cargo officer at Swiss International Air Lines, told the news source. "Maybe one or two will overreach themselves, but others will succeed. You have different ways now of flying from North America to Asia or Europe to Asia. It's a huge challenge for European operators."
The article added that Europe's ongoing recession has caused a drop in demand for imported luxury items and expensive electronics, which has also weighed heavily on carriers' bottom lines.
Consumer confidence will have to see a significant uptick before the shipping situation improves. Unfortunately, in Western Europe the outlook is "not really getting any better," said Carsten Wirths, vice president Europe and Africa at Lufthansa Cargo.
One way to boost efficiency is to invest in proof of condition services like CargoSnapshot. Such services allow users to take digital pictures of each piece of cargo, meaning that their condition during all stages of the process can be identified. In the event of freight damage or theft, this will ease the insurance process and give customers peace of mind.