The Future of Air Cargo Remains Uncertain, Drone Delivery Heats Up, and the Expenses of Green Initiatives

by | Mar 17, 2023 | 3PL, Logistics


NLS Logistics Team

The air cargo market is showing signs of recovery but its future is still uncertain. Zipline and Wing have both announced big developments in the race to expand drone delivery. Unifor CN workers have voted to strike as soon as March 21st. A report shows the expenses of logistics green initiatives and Kodiak Robotics and Forward Air Corp aim to provide 24-hour autonomous freight service.

Will The Air Cargo Market Rise Again?

The air cargo market is showing some signs of recovery, but it remains uncertain with a weak outlook due to difficult economic conditions. Green shoots are pointing to a second-half recovery, but container shipping lines are likely to be the beneficiary of an import/export activity growth instead of airlines.  Although total cargo capacity increased by 11% for the second consecutive month in February, airlines are responding to the strong recovery in passenger travel by deploying more aircraft.

Source: Freight Waves

Drone Delivery Gets Promising News

Zipline has announced a new home delivery service that will utilize drone-droid teams to deliver packages to small spaces such as patios and front steps. The drone will hover while an autonomous droid maneuvers down a tether before dropping off the package. Meanwhile, Alphabet’s Wing plans to expand its drone delivery network to handle millions of deliveries by mid-2024 at a lower cost than ground transportation. The company plans to roll out parts of the network’s capabilities over the next year and demonstrate them in new locations globally.

Source: Supply Chain Drive

Over 95% of Unifor CN Workers Vote to Strike

Unifor members working at Canadian National Railway (CN) have voted in favour of strike action, with Local 100 members voting 98% in favour and Council 4000 members voting 97% in favour. The railway said it is preparing for the possibility of a strike by scaling back some intermodal operations on March 14th, with labour action potentially starting on March 21st.

Source: Inside Logistics

Are Green Initiatives Too Expensive For Logistics?

Freight operators are offering a range of low-carbon options to shippers, such as electric trucks and marine fuels and low-carbon aviation, but many companies are hesitant to pay higher prices. Often vetoing sustainable options in favour of cheaper, more polluting ones. A recent study by Boston Consulting Group found that while 82% of companies are willing to pay more for sustainable shipping, the premium they are willing to pay falls far short of the investment needed to significantly reduce emissions. 

Source: Wall Street Journal

Autonomous Freight Aims To Provide 24-Hour Service

Kodiak Robotics and Forward Air Corp. have launched autonomous freight round-trip runs between Dallas and Atlanta with teams of safety drivers. The dedicated agreement between the companies calls for autonomous freight service 24 hours per day, six days per week. The aim is to provide consistent 24-hour service across the 800-mile Dallas-Atlanta freight lane to make the supply chain more efficient and resilient.

Source: Freight Waves

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