Under the theme of “Change. Challenge. Opportunity.” the 26th CNS Partnership Conference, being held in Nashville, Tennessee, US, is making a concerted effort to recognize and dissect the challenges facing the air cargo industry, and to look towards future opportunities and solutions in the dynamic global supply chain.
“We cannot continue doing things as we always have and expect different outcomes. The world we live in moves quickly and we must adapt to, and where we can, anticipate change. Unfortunately as an industry we have not always done this well. And while it is a major challenge it is also one of our biggest opportunities,” said Lionel van der Walt, President of Cargo Network Services (CNS), while making his opening remarks on Monday (April 11).
The global air cargo industry only expanded slightly in 2015 and freight tonnage increased to 51.3 million tonnes. However, cargo revenues are down from the $67 billion high in 2011 to only $52 billion in 2015. However, despite low fuel prices, 2016 looks to be a mixed bag with yields falling further.
“Evidently the outlook is not what we would like it to be. But herein lies an opportunity for us to rejuvenate our industry. I believe it can be done but it will require the collaborative action of airlines, key stakeholders and governments,” Walt added.
CNS President believes that enhanced industry collaboration will certainly help ensure the industry to achieve goals. “The purpose of the event is to focus on the key areas where we can collectively drive change across the industry, especially in terms of those projects that have a strong government component such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and The Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Walt thinks that what is required at the moment is to adjust our mindset. “If we stop for just a moment and think about what our lives would be like without air cargo, they would be very different. And I don’t think any of us would say for the better! As an industry it is up to us to remind governments and others outside of the air cargo orbit of the tremendous contribution our industry makes to global economies and the overall well-being of people all over the world,” he said.
CNS Partnership Conference continues to be the premier cargo event, keeping members up-to-date and connected with the latest developments in the air cargo industry. Each year the event brings together close to 600 highly placed air cargo professionals from the US and around the world, including executives from airlines, freight forwarders, and shippers.