Globally, the dominant air cargo flows are in three main markets:–Asia-North America,–North America – Europe, and–Europe-Far East. The line – haul combination carriers tend to focus their cargo operations on international gateway airports, allowing consolidation or break-out loads to be transferred between long-haul and short-haul services. The gateway airport is an international airport which is the first point of arrival or the last point of departure in a state for international air services. The integrated carriers usually focus the operations at cargo hubs that do not have very high volumes of passenger traffic. Airfreight markets are changing due to the economic growth pattern of developing countries that are accelerating past that of the already industrialized economies. The main influences behind these trends are:–the primary influence of the world economic activity;–impact of the range of services in the express and small package market;–deregulation and liberalization;–national development programs;–stream of new air-eligible commodities;–the growth of e-commerce. The deregulation of air freight rates provides the shippers with a greater choice among carriers concerning rates, consequential damage, and excess value charges. Under CAB regulation of air freight, all-cargo operators were unable to generate reasonable profits with the result that the quantity and quality of service were deteriorating. By air, the freight can be carried to longer distances because surface modes could not be used to support the carrier’s operation. Integrated carriers offered multimodal services that take advantage of the distance, cost, and time trade-offs that are offered by different modes. In the European and Asian markets, the integrated carriers have recently increased the size of their international operations. In fact, within Europe, it is estimated that the integrated carriers now perform most of the total intra-European RTKs. As such competition from surface modes has had and will continue to have, a downward impact on air-freight growth rates. This factor, along with a relatively low overall economic growth rate, explains low average long-term growth rate for air freight. Airfreight is a more expensive mode of carriage of goods than other modes and will be used when the value per unit weight of shipments is relatively high and the mode of delivery is an important factor. Thus it can be said that transport costs can comprise a small proportion of the revenue associated with the products. The advantages offered to the shippers through movement by air include speed, particularly over long distances, lower risk of damage, security, flexibility, accessibility for customers, and good frequency for regular destinations. For integrated operators, the guaranteed delivery and the facility to track consignments gives customers additional advantages over standard air-freight carriage. These superior qualitative differences give rise to higher rates for integrated services. When it comes to shorter distances, air transport faces stiff competition from surface modes and combined road and sea services. The demand for Air-freight changes according to the season, and this is taken into account by carriers supplying airlift capacity.
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