The Air Cargo Industry

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THE AIR CARGO INDUSTRY This chapter aims at providing an introduction into the contextual background of the air cargo industry by formulating an answer to the first sub-question: ‘how is the air cargo industry configured’? A number of development milestones are addressed that have had a profound impact on today’s global air cargo industry. Furthermore, the macro environment and trends and developments in air cargo are shortly dealt with. The chapter concludes with a short supply-chain analysis of the global air cargo industry. 2.1 Introduction Today’s modern society demands an advanced transportation system to overcome distances, preferably in a fast, safe, comfortable and reliable way (European Commission, 2003). Distances might be a roadblock for people wanting to socialize out of home, enjoy education, doing business and so on. But not only individuals are daily on the road overcoming the distance between the place they are and the place they want to be; also raw materials, spare parts and finished goods are every day on the move from one place to another enabling companies to produce, assemble or sell their goods. These movements are facilitated by companies offering transportation services. As passengers and particularly goods rarely do move for the sake of travelling, transportation services generally have a diverted character because the demand for transport depends on underlying reasons or final activities that makes transport necessary (De Wit, Van Gent, 2001). Furthermore, the transportation industry consists of two subsystems, one for passengers transport and one for cargo transport (De Wit, Van Gent, 2001; Zhang, Zhang, 2002). Although these two subsystems are sometimes interrelated, this thesis excludes the subsystem of passenger transport and focuses on cargo transport, particularly on air cargo. Within the transportation domain, several modes
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