Part IV: 2015 – WHAT’S DOWN THE ROAD?
It promises to be an interesting year in more ways than one!
There is no crystal ball on hand, and even if that were the case, we’d still be in for many surprises as the year goes on.
Will sanity prevail?
Politically we are all sitting in a very shaky boat.
The waters between Russia and the rest of the western world continue to freeze over with frightening speed. If the world’s politicians cannot sort this out, then we face an uncertain future.
The conflicts in the Arabian world won’t sort themselves out when the rest of the world continues to “turn a blind eye” on the situation.
All of the above, plus the already uncertain economic development, could, in the worst case scenario, lead to further dramatic economic declines.
This would turn out to be deadly for transport, be it rail, sea or air, in general.
Airfreight has experienced many “ups & downs” during the past five to six years. Despite this, the trade looks positively towards 2015.
Will falling fuel prices bring better and noticeable results for the airlines?
The IATA Fuel Index for 2015 shows a barrel price of just about US$100. This, if it holds, would be more than 14% less than the 2013 average.
But, will it hold?
Fuel Surcharges remain a “two-edged sword.”
Consumers are starting to demand lower fares and the freight community is demanding the abolition of Fuel Surcharges.
On the other side, investors don’t want airlines lowering rates of seat prices partly or at all. Their view is that if this happens it leaves the carriers more vulnerable to producing even more negative results.
So, what’s wise?
Air cargo rates must increase to a level whereby the shipping industry does not feel hurt. But more importantly so that airlines can start to look in some cases to something somewhere near to a black bottom line. This would give many board room directors the necessary new confidence to ensure that the cargo product within their organization receives the attention it needs.
The trend in 2014 to more outsourcing of equipment management and purchase to companies like CHEP Aerospace and Jettainer seems to have paid off. Many carriers have here shed themselves of time consuming and expensive hoarding and management of their upper deck, under floor and galley equipment.
A good cost saver and one which others will surely go for in 2015.
We’ll surely have much to report on in 2015 with regards to cargo transportation, logistics services and all that goes with it.
We sincerely hope that in the most part it will be positive, driving the industry forward.
John Mc Donagh / Heiner Siegmund