According to the delegates at the ACE air freight forwarding event in Abu Dhabi, geopolitics is considered the biggest risk for forwarders and the air freight industry in 2024.
Despite the possibility of disruption that could potentially boost air cargo, political crises were identified as the number one concern.
“Geopolitical tensions are affecting our business. The India-Middle East-Europe corridor was under discussion before the Israel crisis – that is now not possible. There have been impactful shocks to the supply chain which have affected logistics.”
Turgut Erkeskin, president of FIATA
However, while supply chain disruption can boost air freight, the health of all sectors needs to be considered.
“As ocean schedule reliability goes down, the air cargo price goes up; when there is disruption in maritime, it is better for air cargo. But we need a more robust maritime sector because the global economy needs it.”
“Air accounts for only about 1% of global trade, so it’s crucial for the long-term sustainability of the global economy that the maritime sector works.”
Glyn Hughes, director general of Tiaca
The outlook for 2024
Speakers and delegates were generally pessimistic about the prospects for 2024. Some believed it would be a repeat of 2023, while others hoped for signs of improvement by the fourth quarter.
“I have some confidence for the second half of 2024, but there will be a relatively poor start. We have to be prepared for the world changing, and it’s critical to be agile.Geopolitical risk also has an impact on the consumer, who is more likely to save than spend.”
“The most important issue is uncertainty. How will shocks affect globalisation? Major changes can affect the efficiency of air operations.”