COVID-19 brought more than 2 billion people online. One year after the beginning of the pandemic the consumers’ behavioral change towards online retail is established with shoppers choosing more often the convenience (and often necessity) of online purchases. This may force air cargo industry to adapt their strategy.

In 2018, global air cargo transport performance exceeded 238 billion FTK and was expected to grow by over 4% annually until 2038. Then the COVID-19 pandemic forced governments to close borders and take drastic measures to protect people which created a shortage in belly capacity but created a boost in e-Commerce sales. In 2020 more than 2 billion people were shopping online – almost a quarter of the world’s population – and the change in consumer’s behavior is now here to stay.

2020 wasn’t an ordinary year for air cargo. While demand decreased by 10.6% compared to 2019 the most significant drop in year-on-year cargo load factors yields and revenues rose to record-high levels. After the low point in April volumes have continuously recovered. The industry expects that they will return to 2019 levels in March 2021.E-commerce rose to 18% of the total retail sales in 2020 four points higher than forecast. With cargo generating 36% of airlines’ benefits last year airlines now have even more reasons to transform and capture e-commerce volumes.

In a fast-changing e-commerce environment the best moment to launch your business transformation is today. As part of a research study with PwC, IATA analyzed the main pain points airlines must address to stay relevant in this digital shift. IATA identified five strategies airlines can follow to adapt to new shippers’ demands.

Click here for more information on e-Commerce volumes and the IATA e-Commerce Monitor

Click here for the e-commerce strategies for airlines