Emerging economies offer opportunity
Where will the next opportunities for the air cargo sector be found? A panel on the final day of the World Cargo Symposium in Los Angeles took a look around the globe for possible pockets of new business.
Marco Bloemen, senior vice president of the Seabury Group consultancy, said opportunities would continue to be found in countries such as China and Brazil. Bangladesh and Vietnam are also growth markets, he said.
“Air cargo markets can change quickly due to production shifts and newly created airfreight flows,” Bloemen cautioned. “Sometimes they just go from one place to another.”
Bloemen said China is responsible for the highest absolute freight growth, but with it comes
“It’s a bit of a scary thought,” Bloemen said. “If China sneezed, the world will really have a cold. So, watch China. There are not other individual markets that can take up that role now.”
Victor Mejia, vice president, cargo for Avianca Airlines, said Mexico and Brazil top the list of Latin American markets.
“Both countries face similar challenges such as infrastructure, but the good news is there are investment projects on the way,” Mejia said, noting that Brazil will spend nearly $15 billion over the next 20 years upgrading its airports.
Trade liberalization, prudent fiscal policy and innovative social programs have helped reduce poverty and income inequality in Brazil, Mejia said.
“We have a very positive outlook in Latin America,” Mejia said. “It’s attractive for its population, economic growth and quality of life improvements.”
Ramon Delima, vice president for variation and industry, for KLM Cargo, offered a look at East Africa. This emerging market has lots of challenges, but has seen strong growth in both exports and imports. Challenges include lack of infrastructure and lengthy administrative and customs procedures. He said exports of perishables are strong, as the region is becoming one of the world’s most important food suppliers. The oil industry in Uganda and South Sudan and the gas industry in Tanzania and Mozambique offer opportunities, he said.
“You have to have local partnerships, you have to embrace technology and you have to have a long-term commitment,” Delima said.