The COVID-19 pandemic hugely impacted consumer behaviour, leading to an increase in the number of people to turning to the online world to purchase their goods. As a result, the e-commerce industry boomed. According to Census data, e-commerce sales leapt by 43% in 2020 in the US alone, while in Europe, countries reported increases between 22% (Germany) and 75% (Spain) for that same period.
As the world becomes increasingly digital, the e-commerce industry is set to grow exponentially in the coming years. Globally, the latest figures suggest a 15% CAGR growth is likely by 2030. In response, the logistics industry has had to look for ways to keep up with this demand, resulting in an uptake in air cargo charters.
When it comes to e-commerce, air cargo charters are an invaluable asset. According to data released by IATA, 80% of cross-border e-commerce is transported by air. The popularity of online shopping is fuelling this boom, and it shows no signs of waning anytime soon.
The e-commerce boom and global supply chain: a new challenge
The convenience afforded by e-commerce has revolutionised the way we shop, granting individuals access to a vast array of products at their fingertips, from around the world. While consumer demand for convenience rockets, online retailers face the challenge of meeting the growing expectations of customers who have become accustomed to lightning-fast deliveries. As a standard, 90% of consumers expect 2-3 day delivery times.
The global nature of e-commerce exasperates the challenge of providing consumers with the goods they want in the timeframe they expect. Given that goods are manufactured across many different countries and continents, the need for a reliable and expedited delivery system has led to an increase in the use of air cargo charters.
Manufacturing locations and consumer base
Many goods that are bought in the US, UK, and other developed countries are manufactured in developing countries. With production hubs stretching from Asia to Europe and the Americas and beyond, the geographical spread of manufacturing locations makes a robust transportation system that can rapidly connect centres of production and consumption a necessity.
To meet this need, air cargo charters have become the standard option for shipments that must arrive on schedule. These services offer unrivalled flexibility, which means goods may be transported from production facilities and delivered to the end user as quickly as humanly possible.
The accessibility of online shopping has resulted in an e-commerce customer base that is both diverse and widespread. People from all walks of life are embracing internet shopping, contributing to a hugely diverse demand for a variety of products. Whether it’s fashion, electronics, or perishable items, air cargo charters offer a versatile means of transporting many different types of goods.
The air cargo advantage
So, what is it that makes air cargo charters a preferred choice for the e-commerce sector when there are conventional transportation methods available? The answer lies in the following unique advantages:
- Unparalleled speed: In the world of e-commerce, time is of the essence. Compared to ocean shipping or ground transportation, air cargo charters offer a far faster service. Thanks to this unparalleled speed, transit times are significantly reduced. This speed is vital for products with a short shelf life or those that are in high demand.
- Unmatched reliability: With an air cargo charter service, it’s possible to operate on tight schedules, allowing for a high level of reliability when it comes to adhering to delivery timelines. With so many competitors available, it’s essential for the success of an e-commerce business that they provide a high-quality service to their customers. Therefore, the reliability afforded by air cargo charter is essential for maintaining customer trust and satisfaction.
- Endless flexibility: Air cargo charters offer flexibility in terms of routes and schedules, allowing for tailored solutions to specific shipping needs. This flexibility is particularly valuable in addressing sudden spikes in demand or unexpected logistical challenges.
Meeting demand and overcoming challenges
As the e-commerce sector continues to grow, the demand for air cargo charters is set to grow even more. However, with this growth comes challenges. Due to factors such as fuel costs, airport fees, and customs duties, air freight is a more costly method of transporting goods compared to other options. To combat this issue, working closely with an experienced broker can allow e-commerce businesses to use cargo space efficiently, optimise routes to minimise fuel consumption, and manage operational costs in the most effective way.
At Airmacs, we leverage our global database of cargo aircraft operators and industry expertise to help e-commerce businesses transport shipments in the necessary timeframe. To make sure the process is as seamless as possible, our dedicated team of compliance and risk specialists will ensure that all international laws and regulations are adhered to. By choosing to work with us, you can rest assured that your goods will reach their destination quickly and safely. Let us help you find the perfect air cargo charter solution.