Air freight allows countries and their businesses to thrive due to the capabilities of importing and exporting goods across the world. Although air freight is a vital service for the economy worldwide it is also responsible for considerable levels of pollution.
Air freight services are only generally used for high value or time sensitive goods and where other freight services are not possible. Due to the cost of air freight and the effect on the environment often other forms of freight forwarding are proffered such as sea freight, road and rail freight.
The Impact of Air Freight on the Environment
Over recent years environmentalists have raised an issue to address the environmental impacts of air freight forwarding. However people of the air freight industry are criticising their comments stating that the current merits of air freight services are outlined with limited knowledge of the industry.
Air freight accounts for approximately 0.6 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions on the environment. In context this is equal to the emissions from off road machinery that is used for farming.
As with cars, the efficiency of fuel in aircrafts has doubled in the last forty years and is expected to continue to improve at a considerable rate.
The Economic Role of Air Freight
Air freight movement is a key ingredient in the functionality of the economy worldwide. It allows businesses to function and manufacture products for trade throughout the world. Furthermore, the air freight industry itself contributes to employment in an era where job vacancies are at an all-time low.
Air freight only accounts for 0.5 per cent of freight forwarding in the UK, which is a very small amount considering that sea freight accounts for 95 per cent of the UK’s international good’s movements. However when freight is measured by weight, 25 per cents of the UK’s international goods movements are in fact made by air. Therefore air freight pays an important part in the UK’s economy.
Air Freight and the Developing World
When it comes to facilitating trade with the developing world such as Africa, air freight plays an integral part, allowing the trade of fresh produce to other countries. The export of fruit and vegetables to the UK alone contributes to £35milliuon per annum to Kenya’s economy. This kind of trade is almost impossible via sea freight because of the time to make the extra distance.
Transporting goods via air is not cheap and therefore only used when necessary. Users of air freight are generally those with goods of high value of perishable goods such as medicine or food which would not survive the time taken to reach a destination via other distribution services.