Air Cargo's Journey Towards Sustainability

Air Cargo's Journey Towards Sustainability

By In Industry News On 22nd March 2024

During the International Air Transport Association's World Cargo Symposium in Hong Kong last week, delegates were informed that although air cargo is often criticised for its environmental and economic impact, the industry's growth is crucial for a sustainable future.

In recent times, the airfreight sector has faced scrutiny for its role in pollution, including carbon emissions and noise pollution. Despite its significance in facilitating quick logistics, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical tensions, concerns arise when considering global goals for achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Niall van der Wouw, Chief Airfreight Officer at Xeneta, highlighted that shippers opt for ocean freight whenever possible, but resort to air freight when necessary. He noted that until Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) becomes widely accessible, which may take up to a decade, the air cargo industry might struggle to align with sustainability objectives.

Importance of Air Cargo: Experts argue that air cargo plays a crucial role in achieving sustainability goals, such as poverty reduction, food security, and economic growth (UN’s 2030 sustainable development goals). It facilitates quick logistics and enables trade opportunities, particularly benefiting SMEs in developing countries.

Despite its benefits, the air cargo industry faces challenges, including the lack of logistics infrastructure in developing countries. Investment in infrastructure and efforts to ease trade barriers are essential for promoting sustainable growth in the industry.

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