It was perhaps inevitable that the
swift and dramatic response of air cargo during 2020 and 2021 has offered
logistics dividend celebrity as a “glamour industry.” Even
Boeing is selling freighters having announced a “December Surprise”
this week from UPS of a reported 160 new and used” B767 freighters.
UPS has often arrived at Boeing’s
door on a white horse and in some cases even saved the day, like once
when Big Brown bought a couple B747-8Fs that we recall kept that production
You could hear the sigh of relief all the
way from Seattle.
Right now an assortment of crystal-ball
gazers whose official positions presumably endow them with rare divinatory
powers are pouring over results from 2021.
Flushed by the cargo industry’s recent
impressive advances, well-regarded personalities—emboldened by growth
rate statistics and swept up in the excitement of chatting up cargo while
strapped in first class—have donned the conical hat of the seer,
predicting a phenomenal future for air cargo.
Bill Boesch has always been the common sense
voice in the throng. From the early days at Seaboard World and at Pan
Am Clipper Cargo; serving as President of American Airlines Cargo for
Bob Crandall, as logistics specialist at Operation Iraqi Freedom where
he was recognized with the USA Medal of Freedom for his dedication and
service, and most recently as a key player at Operation Warp Speed, Bill
Boesch for more than a half a century has been in the thick of the movement
to advance air cargo at the airlines wherever he has served.
For air cargo 2021 was a year of change.
The virus catalyzed air cargo and freighters
into the limelight.
While that has been continuing, air passengers
are slowly coming back in fits and starts and hence thebelly capacity
that normally accounts for about 60 to 70% of overall air cargo lift has
been slow to recover.
At the same time the various COVID-19 attacks
have altered consumer purchasing patterns from retail brick and mortar
stores to internet as millions have migrated to online shopping, giving
dramatic rise to cargo companies like Amazon, FedEx and UPS.
That was the bright side for air cargo for
But like Star Wars, a dark force is at work
here at the same time.
Air Cargo freighters are expensive to operate
driving rates upward.
At the same time many old line retail companies
have gone out of business while others have had to reduce their number
of retail operations as people have stopped going to work for fear of
That situation continues not helped much
by governments ongoing compensation offerings replacing paying jobs that
over time has the net effect of weakening several countries economies.
The passenger airlines continue to suffer
despite governments who were already not subsidizing them continuing to
providing financial assistance to keep them alive.
The big question is not what nor why 2021
happened, but what will happen to air cargo and freighters ahead in 2022
My holiday wish for everyone is that whatever
lies ahead helps promote world peace so that our children and grandchildren
live a life in a safe and prosperous world.
President & CEO
Cargo Logistics Solutions