The move of expedited air shipments to the ground has been one of the hallmarks of domestic transportation in the United States for at least a decade, but that trend may be hitting an economic roadblock. The past year saw volume for airfreight trucked to and from North American airports level off or even fall by some accounts.
The diminishing market amid a slowing U.S. economy and rising costs is setting off what industry observers say is an increasingly tough battle for freight and for market share. "It's a very competitive marketplace, and there is a lot of capacity that is underutilized," says Mike Maynard, senior aviation project manager of Columbia, S.C.-based Wilbur Smith Associates.
Forward Air, Towne Air Freight and BAX Global are the leading U.S. sources of airfreight trucking services. All three, say industry observers, stand to benefit from the shutdown late last year of Kitty Hawk Aircargo, the freight airline that shuttered its overnight air operation and the nationwide truck network the carrier had launched in a bid to move with the market.
Source: Air Cargo World, www.aircargoworld.com
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