Air cargo conversations and insights were the kickstarter at the recently concluded Asian Logistics, Maritime and Aviation Conference held on 2 and 3 November at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Sixty-three industry experts and leaders shared their insights at close to 30 sessions at the two-day ‘hybrid’ conference, attracting more than 11,200 viewers from some 60 countries and regions. Participants from Hong Kong, Mainland China, Mexico, Nigeria and Romania witnessed first-hand the networking opportunities presented by the event
In the air cargo forum, IATA cargo head Brendan Sullivan joined Mark Slade, managing director forDHL Global Forwarding in Hong Kong & Macau; Yvonne Ho, General Manager, Hong Kong & Macau at IATA; and Victor Mok, chairman and CEO of Asset Service Platform, GLP China shared their insights on air cargo digitalisation development trends and the impact of innovation.
Sullivan sees air cargo demand to continue upward, led by strong consumer demand in the US, given the supply chain challenges on both the manufacturing side and in the US, which is seeing congestion at ports throughout the country.
“Air cargo continues to rise and is trending above the rate of overall trade, so air cargo revenues are expected to be still close to one third of airline operating revenues. This is up significantly from the previous average of 10% to 15% growth,” Sullivan said.
For Mok, cross-border e-commerce has greatly accelerated the need to digitalise with Chinese logistics providers implementing digital solutions over the last 5 years to enhance transparency and safety of cargo movements.
“Digitalisation is a big word, but it doesn’t mean just moving things like processes from paper to online platforms. That is only the first small step,” Mr Mok explained. “The key is how you optimise the processes, using technology and data to improve the processes and therefore efficiency and transparency, to make better decisions than in the past,” he added.
As part of the panel, DHL’s Slade claimed that the bulk of supply chain disruptions were not from direct suppliers but from second- and third-tier suppliers, introducing the company’s latest analytical tool to help identify risks with suppliers.
An earlier forum involving Kaiser Lam from US-based forwarder Expeditors International and Cathay Pacific’s Frosti Lau, representing liaison group for air cargo carriers at HKIA, touched upon Hong Kong’s role and unique opportunities for aviation and logistics in the region with the development of the Greater Bay Area.
Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council or HKTDC, the ALMAC event hosted satellite venues in Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Wuhan and Hamburg. Online roundtable meetings also connected participants from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and Luxembourg with industry players from Hong Kong and Mainland China, to discuss new market trends.