July 25, 2019: ABI Research, a global tech market advisory firm, has estimated mixed near-term expectations for the transportation industry in 2019. According to its Air Freight Transportation Technology Trends application analysis report, increasing air freight traffic is moving to Asia Pacific (APAC), including Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore and the long-term outlook is strong.

Forces like escalating trade wars, industry consolidation, over capacity, and rising consumer expectations are driving the adoption of air freight technology services by a 17 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Digital aviation freight services revenue, rising by 25 percent from 2018 to 2024, is expected to exceed $1.7 billion by 2024.

"Beyond analytics and platforms, the international air freight industry will need to redefine the notion of delivery. Emerging opportunities include cold chain enhancements, near real-time visibility, and 30-minute deliveries via Unmanned Aircraft Systems," said Susan Beardslee, principal analyst, intelligent transportation & eFreight at ABI Research.

According to the report, digitising aviation freight services will improve business processes for slot reservations, goods tracking, online quoting, and digital invoicing.

"Competitors who do not embrace the evolution and lag behind early adopters will have to face inefficiencies, decreased profits, their partners, and their customers," warned Beardslee.

Specialty services such as Panalpina's temperature-controlled offerings, IBS Software's iCargo integrated SaaS platform, Kuehne Nagel's Enterprise Visibility tool, and Inseego's C-Track insights will continue to thrive. Expanding freight services include online marketplaces, ground equipment tracking and augmented reality for cargo sizing.

The report predicted that direct bookings will become the norm as air freight carriers look to be closer to their shippers, while disruptive vendors including Amazon and Alibaba/Cainiao are poised to drive further integration and consolidation. Maritime to rail, over the road, and air, as well as connections to smart warehouses to address greater risk mitigation and margin/recurring revenue opportunities will all be part on the bigger evolution picture.

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