E-Commerce requires a different way of thinking about air cargo. Yet, while a change in mindset is never the easiest thing to come by in our industry, there really is no better time than now for airlines and air cargo carriers to start playing a significant role in e-commerce transport.
On Tuesday, November 16, I was fortunate to moderate a panel at the Dubai Airshow on the state of e-commerce as it relates to the ever-evolving air cargo industry. I was joined on the stage by Teddy Zebitz, CEO of Saudia Cargo, and Abhishek Shah, Co-Founder, and CEO of RSA National. The insights provided by these two gentlemen were invaluable, and they offered the audience with essential perspectives for industry experts and leaders considering e-commerce air cargo for the first time.
One of the highlights of our discussion was the astounding rates at which e-commerce continues to grow. It is anticipated that between January 2019 and December 2021, there will be close to a 45.8% increase in e-commerce as a percentage of all global retail sales.
While some of this is a natural outcome of the global pandemic and some imposed shifts in consumer behavior, we are seeing compelling trends indicating that the migration to e-commerce is permanent and will be resilient far beyond the initial impacts of the pandemic.
In our conversation, we explored the many facets of e-commerce and air cargo, particularly how it can lead to significant revenue across the value chain. We discussed how collaboration and data must go hand-in-hand and how critical it is for airlines to examine their approach with that of air cargo. Moreover, we see how businesses may be approaching e-commerce via their own business, partnerships, or others.
With the need for millions of e-commerce packages to be transported every day, airlines are poised to reimagine air cargo with the right technology. The demand is at an all-time peak right now, and airlines have the upper hand when it comes to getting e-commerce packages from destination to destination quickly and efficiently.
We all agreed that with the right technology, data sharing, and collaboration, airlines would capitalize on this tremendous global opportunity.