Airforwarders Association

The Airforwarders Association (AfA) is a global alliance of indirect air carriers, cargo airlines and affiliated businesses. The association represents member companies, ranging from small businesses to those with over 1,000 people, dedicated to moving cargo throughout the supply chain.

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Brandon Fried, Executive Director, Airforwarders Association.

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OUTLOOK BULLISH FOR PEAK SEASON SURGE DESPITE DECLINING CARGO VOLUMES, SAYS AFA’S BRANDON FRIED


AfA’s Executive Director says consumers are spending and passengers queuing up to fly, but the sector must remedy labour and infrastructure issues if it is to facilitate growth

Washington, D.C., USA, Monday 22nd May 2023: The air cargo industry should expect a strong Q4 peak season despite lower Q1 volumes as airlines respond to surging passenger demand, said Brandon Fried, Executive Director, Airforwarders Association (AfA).

According to World ACD, global air cargo chargeable weight flown in Q1 2023 was down 11 percent compared with a year earlier, but Fried attributes recent lower volumes to post-Covid normalization rather than decline.

“We’re coming down from the lofty volumes seen during the pandemic, which we all know were not sustainable long term, but we’re not crashing, we’re normalizing,” said Fried, speaking on The Freight Buyers’ Club Big Air Cargo Debate podcast.

“We need to be bullish in the second half; consumers are still out there spending and passengers are flying.”

Regionally, overall tonnage in Q1 dropped by 16 percent for Asia Pacific and 18 percent for North America.

Some economists predict a fully-fledged US recession later this year, but Fried remains optimistic for the return of higher cargo volumes in line with end-of-year peak season.

Current freight rates are artificially lower than supply and demand would dictate because airlines are operating more aircraft than necessary in anticipation of an uptick, he said, and to accommodate swathes of passengers waiting to fly.

“This will benefit freight forwarders in the long run because airlines want to tailor pricing to attract business,” said Fried.

“It also indicates a departure away from the traditional freighters we saw during the pandemic, and we can expect some of the older freighters to be phased out.

“Now’s the time for freight forwarders to really show their creative strength because they have to anticipate what’s coming around the corner.”

Fried urged the same fighting spirit to contend with ongoing labor shortages and union negotiations, which have been casting a shadow over US supply chains and impacting global trade flows.

“It’s time for the freight forwarders to be the creative logistical problem solvers that we are – we’ve got to be ready for a challenging future,” said Fried.

Looking ahead to 2024, air and ocean freight demand are set to improve, he concluded.

“We have a new baseline, and we need to stop comparing to before the pandemic.

“It’s a new world, we’re seeing a new geopolitical order: the war in Ukraine, rising labor costs, Chinese manufacturers moving out of China to elsewhere in Asia, South America, Mexico.

“Manufacturers are diversifying, and we can expect to see regionalizing of supply chains in the US and globally.

“A different political structure will have a significant impact on supply chains.”

To hear the full discussion about tackling the industry’s biggest challenges and the future of the air freight market, listen to the full podcast.

About Airforwarders Association

The Airforwarders Association (AfA) represents more than 200 member companies dedicated to moving cargo throughout the supply chain.

The association’s members range from small businesses with fewer than 20 employees to large companies employing more than 1,000 people and business models varying from domestic to worldwide freight forwarding operations.

In short, they are the travel agents for freight shipments, moving cargo in the timeliest and most cost-efficient manner whether it is carried on aircraft, truck, rail or ship. For more information, visit the association’s website at www.airforwarders.org.

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OUTLOOK BULLISH FOR PEAK SEASON SURGE DESPITE DECLINING CARGO VOLUMES, SAYS AFA’S BRANDON FRIED

AfA’s Executive Director says consumers are spending and passengers queuing up to fly, but the sector must remedy labour and infrastructure issues if it is to facilitate growth

Washington, D.C., USA, Monday 22nd May 2023: The air cargo industry should expect a strong Q4 peak season despite lower Q1 volumes as airlines respond to surging passenger demand, said Brandon Fried, Executive Director, Airforwarders Association (AfA).

According to World ACD, global air cargo chargeable weight flown in Q1 2023 was down 11 percent compared with a year earlier, but Fried attributes recent lower volumes to post-Covid normalization rather than decline.

“We’re coming down from the lofty volumes seen during the pandemic, which we all know were not sustainable long term, but we’re not crashing, we’re normalizing,” said Fried, speaking on The Freight Buyers’ Club Big Air Cargo Debate podcast.

“We need to be bullish in the second half; consumers are still out there spending and passengers are flying.”

Regionally, overall tonnage in Q1 dropped by 16 percent for Asia Pacific and 18 percent for North America.

Some economists predict a fully-fledged US recession later this year, but Fried remains optimistic for the return of higher cargo volumes in line with end-of-year peak season.

Current freight rates are artificially lower than supply and demand would dictate because airlines are operating more aircraft than necessary in anticipation of an uptick, he said, and to accommodate swathes of passengers waiting to fly.

“This will benefit freight forwarders in the long run because airlines want to tailor pricing to attract business,” said Fried.

“It also indicates a departure away from the traditional freighters we saw during the pandemic, and we can expect some of the older freighters to be phased out.

“Now’s the time for freight forwarders to really show their creative strength because they have to anticipate what’s coming around the corner.”

Fried urged the same fighting spirit to contend with ongoing labor shortages and union negotiations, which have been casting a shadow over US supply chains and impacting global trade flows.

“It’s time for the freight forwarders to be the creative logistical problem solvers that we are – we’ve got to be ready for a challenging future,” said Fried.

Looking ahead to 2024, air and ocean freight demand are set to improve, he concluded.

“We have a new baseline, and we need to stop comparing to before the pandemic.

“It’s a new world, we’re seeing a new geopolitical order: the war in Ukraine, rising labor costs, Chinese manufacturers moving out of China to elsewhere in Asia, South America, Mexico.

“Manufacturers are diversifying, and we can expect to see regionalizing of supply chains in the US and globally.

“A different political structure will have a significant impact on supply chains.”

To hear the full discussion about tackling the industry’s biggest challenges and the future of the air freight market, listen to the full podcast.

About Airforwarders Association

The Airforwarders Association (AfA) represents more than 200 member companies dedicated to moving cargo throughout the supply chain.

The association’s members range from small businesses with fewer than 20 employees to large companies employing more than 1,000 people and business models varying from domestic to worldwide freight forwarding operations.

In short, they are the travel agents for freight shipments, moving cargo in the timeliest and most cost-efficient manner whether it is carried on aircraft, truck, rail or ship. For more information, visit the association’s website at www.airforwarders.org.