IAG Cargo, the cargo division of International Airlines Group (IAG)
hosted a roundtable at the JW Marriott Hotel in New Delhi to discuss key air cargo trends and
business updates. Speakers included John Cheetham, Chief Commercial Officer at IAG Cargo, Yashpal
Sharma, President of Air Cargo Forum India (ACFI) & Managing Director at Skyways Group, along
with Pratul Shekhar, Senior Director Airfreight at DSV.
IAG Cargo recently conducted a global survey of freight forwarders and logistics industry
professionals to get their thoughts on the future of the industry. This served as a focal point of
discussion, highlighting trends in digitalisation and sustainability. The results showed that the Indian
market has heavily adopted online booking as a way of booking air-cargo with 76% of respondents
declaring it as their primary booking method, compared to only 46% globally. In sharp contrast, the
global market still relies on email as their primary channel for booking freight (53%).
The roundtable addressed these statistics in line with the digital advancements taking place and how
the speakers are preparing their businesses to adapt to the fast-paced technological changes, which
they believe will take place at an even quicker rate compared to pre-pandemic.
Indian freight forwarders and logistics professionals appear to place greater importance on
sustainability than their global counterparts. 78% of those surveyed in India responded that their
business has a sustainability strategy (the global response was 67%) and 68% said they considered
sustainability to be “extremely important” compared to 38% in the global audience. The speakers
talked about how sustainability is informing their business decisions and how they see the industry
progressing with SAF goals.
The number one concern of those surveyed was talent attraction and retention. This was particularly
pronounced with respondents in India with 46% naming it as their number one business challenge.
John Cheetham, Chief Commercial Officer at IAG Cargo said, “I am delighted to have had the
opportunity to engage with thought leaders of the industry in India, a region in which IAG Cargo has
long since had a strong presence. We have gained some valuable insights which will be hugely
beneficial and applicable to our operations around the world.”
Yashpal Sharma, President of ACFI & Managing Director at Skyways Group added “It was an
insightful and thought-provoking round table session with some of the most inspiring folks from the
industry. We came together to deliberate and discuss how both sustainability & digitization are
taking the front seats for making informed business decisions by organizations across the trade in the
air cargo industry.
The outcomes of the remarkable global survey on cargo trends conducted by IAG Cargo prior to
the roundtable are really interesting. The findings indicate how people are supporting increased
automation and digitization worldwide. It is heartening to see that Indian representatives actively
participated in the survey and mentioned about the high benchmarks of digital automation being
achieved, along with future expectations set in enterprises. Additionally, the need to attract the right
talent and retain them has also taken prominence for enterprises, globally.
It is our responsibility to come forward and help build greener and more sustainable means of
operations as well as transactions. Coupled with digitization, innovation and the need to move away
from legacy systems, each one of us can contribute to reducing the carbon footprints in our own way,
for the air cargo industry”.
Pratul Shekhar, Senior Director Airfreight at DSV commented, “Thank you IAG cargo for taking this
initiative to bring in the industry leaders of logistics and supply chain to address the future of Air
Logistics in terms of automation, digitalisation and sustainability. Like IAG cargo, DSV is also working
towards making the world more transparent, automated and sustainable”.