Thursday, June 20, 2024
Advocating for modernisation of aviation infrastructure

Advocating for modernisation of aviation infrastructure

As the Airforwarders Association, we are keenly aware of the multifaceted challenges facing the aviation and freight forwarding industry, including the critical issue of truck congestion in major airport cargo areas. This congestion not only impedes the efficient movement of goods but also undermines the competitiveness of US airports on the global stage.

Truck congestion at airport cargo areas has been a persistent problem, hindering the timely processing of shipments and exacerbating delays in the supply chain. The detrimental impacts of this congestion ripple throughout the entire logistics ecosystem, affecting freight forwarders, shippers, carriers, and, ultimately, consumers.

Recognising the urgency of this issue, three US Senators have backed the freight forwarding industry in obtaining a General Accountability Office (GAO) review to validate the extent of the problem. This bipartisan support underscores the significance of addressing truck congestion to ensure the smooth operation of air cargo facilities and enhance the competitiveness of US airports. The findings of the GAO review are expected to provide valuable insights into the root causes of truck congestion at airport cargo areas and inform targeted solutions to alleviate the problem.

Once the review is complete, we hope that the findings will spur action from the US Congress to allocate funding for cargo-related projects where they are needed most. Investing in infrastructure upgrades and expansions to improve truck throughput and expedite shipment processing is essential to modernising our aviation infrastructure and maintaining the global competitiveness of US airports. Truck congestion is not merely a logistical challenge; it is also a matter of economic significance. Delays in cargo processing can result in increased costs for businesses, lost revenue opportunities, and disruptions to global supply chains. By addressing truck congestion and enhancing the efficiency of cargo operations at airports, we can unlock economic growth, create job opportunities, and strengthen the resilience of our transportation networks.

Furthermore, truck congestion at airport cargo areas has significant environmental implications, as trucks idling while waiting to tender or recover shipments contribute to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. This not only harms air quality but also exacerbates climate change, posing long-term risks to public health and the environment. Addressing truck congestion is therefore not only crucial for improving operational efficiency and economic competitiveness but also for promoting environmental sustainability. As the Airforwarders Association, we advocate for holistic solutions that prioritise both the efficiency and environmental sustainability of air cargo transportation.

By modernising infrastructure, optimising logistics processes, and adopting cleaner technologies, we can mitigate the environmental impacts of truck congestion while ensuring the smooth flow of goods through our nation’s airports. In addition to being a challenge in the United States, truck congestion at airport cargo areas is a global concern that requires attention and action from countries worldwide.

As the International Air Transport Association (IATA) forecasts air cargo growth to be annualised at 4% for the foreseeable future, it is evident that the demand for efficient and reliable air cargo transportation will continue to increase globally. Other countries should be reviewing their international airports and addressing infrastructure challenges to accommodate this growth and ensure the smooth flow of goods through their transportation networks.

By investing in modernising and expanding airport infrastructure, countries can not only meet the growing demands of the air cargo industry but also strengthen their competitiveness in the global marketplace. Collaboration and coordination among nations will be essential to address common challenges and foster a more efficient and resilient international air cargo ecosystem. The Airforwarders Association is committed to advocating for policies and investments that address the root causes of truck congestion and enhance the efficiency and reliability of air cargo operations.

We believe that collaboration between government agencies, industry stakeholders, and policymakers is essential to developing and implementing effective solutions. By working together, we can develop targeted strategies to alleviate congestion, streamline cargo operations, and ensure the seamless flow of goods through our nation’s airports. Improving truck throughput and expediting shipment processing will not only benefit the freight forwarding industry but also bolster the resilience and competitiveness of the broader aviation ecosystem. It is imperative that we seize this opportunity to modernise our aviation infrastructure and pave the way for a more efficient and sustainable future for air cargo transportation.

Brandon FRIED
Executive Director of the Airforwarders Association


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