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Regional air cargo carriers and cargo freighter airlines provide vital services in the air cargo industry by providing point-to-point or regional transport of goods in an ever more complex freight delivery network. They may deliver the cargo to its destination or to hubs, where integrated carriers (FedEx, UPS, DHL) or commercial passenger flights with cargo capacity carry the goods onward. The explosion of e-commerce and global trade growth has resulted in increased demand for air carrier services. This comes with plenty of opportunities as well as a number of challenges. Air freight service providers must navigate complex terrain while providing reliable, on-time services and keeping operating costs under control. Flexible access to aircraft hangar facilities can be a great solution to their logistical challenges, as well as a way to expand their market reach. Furthermore, airport expansion can help these carriers take advantage of the new opportunities, allowing them to better serve their customers.”

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Challenges and Opportunities in Air Freight Cargo

The rapidly growing air freight cargo industry faces rapid change and many challenges and opportunities in an evolving landscape. AI, automated tracking systems, delivery drones, aircraft automation, and other technologies must be integrated into operations to remain competitive. Economic, environmental, regulatory, and other factors present ongoing challenges.

Some key factors have significantly impacted the air cargo industry in recent years, including the e-commerce revolution, supply chain changes, inflation, and more.

Growth of E-Commerce

Online ordering and package delivery had seen years of steady growth. Still, it exploded during the COVID pandemic, and has not slowed since. This shift from delivering stock for retail shelves, facilitated with delivery coordinated with traditional freight forwarding companies, to individual online ordering and package delivery has made the goods delivery industry more complex and vital than ever. This new model presents a number of issues, such as coordinating efficient pickup and delivery in a changing and fragmented landscape, developing and implementing advanced information systems, and obtaining airport access where needed with new airport construction projects to carry the workload. Carriers that successfully automate their processes using data analytics to achieve flexible, cost-effective transport models are poised to benefit from this rapidly expanding field.

Recent Supply Chain Disruption and Realignment

The COVID pandemic reset the global supply chain in a big way. Disruptions in goods delivery across the globe have resulted in many producers and resellers rethinking how they source, stock, and deliver goods to markets where demand is at an all-time high. As a result of global supply chain disruption, US domestic manufacturing has surged, resulting in a greater need for air freight cargo delivery within North America. Successful firms are repositioning and growing their capacity and systems to take on this new business.

Rising Fuel Costs and Inflation

Airplane Hangar being used as an airport expansionWhile fuel prices have leveled off recently, the overall trend is higher. Fuel remains the highest and most volatile cost for the airline industry. Along with rising fuel costs, general inflation across the economy, from services and labor to parts and supplies, is adding even more financial stress for air freight operators. Keeping facility and operating costs for cargo services under control is a top priority.

Labor Shortages

There is a shortage of skilled labor across the economy that also affects the airline industry.
Pilots, qualified aircraft mechanics, and technology-savvy staff are in high demand and short supply. Firms that are growing, and have successfully automated and streamlined operations, are better positioned to compete for and attract the best employment candidates.

Airport Congestion and Infrastructure Challenges

Air Cargo Shipping Containers with Airplane flying Overhead

Cargo airplane flying above stack of logistic containers. Air freight cargo transportation.

In most cases across the country, existing airport facilities are inadequate to handle cargo at the airport and the rapidly growing package delivery services of which air freight carriers are a vital part. Aging urban airports are endemic across the United States. There has been a recent explosion in airport construction and airport projects, as a result. Many smaller, fast-growing communities lack adequate airport access in their areas. The shortage of airport facilities impacts air freight carriers who must compete for airport space. Where airport access is lacking, carriers may need to arrange for ground transportation to deliver goods to their final destination. Even where airport access is available, crowded airports result in flight delays, missed deadlines, schedule chaos, and added costs.

Recent federal investments in infrastructure improvements and airport construction projects will help ease the situation somewhat in future years, but there will likely not be enough airports or airplane hangars even after these long-term improvements are made to handle the pace of rapid growth and change in the industry. Air freight carriers must continue to find space in smaller and regional airports, which are also less costly, and find ways to build hubs and networks across their service territory that provide for their aircraft and employees.

Airplane Hangar Facilities

Airplane docked in tension fabric hangar for aircraftThe recent rapid growth of air freight industry means there are more aircraft in the air and on the ground. With growth also hitting the passenger air carrier business, space is in short supply and at a premium. Major airports are dominated by large carriers. Large freight carriers like FedEx, UPS, and DHL, have invested in their own centralized facilities, but smaller carriers have to compete for space in regional airports that also provide them convenient access to the markets they serve. However, finding airplane hangar space to service and store aircraft is an increasing challenge. This necessitates having additional hangars that are not a part of the airport.

Despite the many challenges they face, air freight carriers who can establish strong footprints in their market space, adapt to new technologies and trends in cargo services and package delivery, and carry out operations effectively and efficiently have enormous opportunities for growth and success.

Allsite Tension Fabric Aircraft Hangar

temporary installation. used in Airport Expansion; exterior shot of a clamshell Aircraft Hangar As a partner to the airline industry, Allsite provides the air freight industry with high-strength tension fabric hangar facilities for lease or purchase that help carriers solve the problem of finding airplane hangar space.  Allsite aircraft hangars come in a variety of sizes to accommodate any aircraft, including large cargo aircraft and full-size passenger airliners and are much less costly than other airport construction projects.

These clear-span hangars provide extra capacity for aircraft owners and operators as maintenance and personnel facilities, for short or long-term storage, as facilities for loading and unloading cargo at the airport, and for virtually any other use where aircraft and employees need hangar space and protection from heat, cold, rain or snow. The hangar can be customized with options including clamshell, freight, cargo, and personnel doors, as well as ventilation and lighting.

Our tension fabric aircraft hangar is built with a highly engineered, extruded aluminum frame overlaid with heavy-duty, industrial-grade PVC fabric that is tensioned and secured over the frame. The resulting aerodynamic structure has the strength of a traditional building, holding up to rain, sleet, snow, and winds so that it can be reliably used in any climate, year-round. Airport project buildings resists fire, chemical spills, rust, and corrosion as well as UV rays. With no posts or columns, the interior provides ample, impediment-free space for aircraft, equipment, supplies, and personnel. The strong interior frame supports overhead signage, tools, and truss systems for safety equipment or other uses. The building is power and HVAC ready so it can be up and running quickly.

Modular and easy to transport to your site, Allsite aircraft hangars can be installed quickly at an airport or airstrip anywhere in North America. The buildings meet local permitting standards and do not require a foundation. Our anchoring systems allow the hangar to be installed on any surface and, when removed, they leave no damage behind.
Airplane hangar buildings are configured and available within weeks of order, and installation can be completed in a matter of days. These structures can be leased or purchased as needed, and relocated easily at the site or disassembled and moved to another location.

Allsite is a trusted partner to the air freight carrier industry, providing reliable aircraft hangar solutions across North America. Call 702-699-9195 today to find out how we can help you grow your air freight cargo business.

 

 

 

Author Peter Milligan

Peter Milligan is a Business Development Manager at Allsite, with degree in Psychology from Lafayette College and 14 years experience in matching customers with Tension Fabric Structure solutions. Read more about Peter and the rest of our team at https://allsitestructures.com/about/

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