Samples History History of Air Freight

History of Air Freight

496 words 2 page(s)

Early promoters of aviation were constantly searching for practical purposes for using the airplane. In 1910, the first practical demonstration of air cargo occurred when a department store shipped a bolt of silk by air from Dayton to Columbus Ohio (Air Freight.) Newspaper reports emphasized the fact that this mode of shipment was faster than sending the material by railroad express. Nearly a decade later, a company called American Railway Express converted a bomber in order to fly 1100 pounds of cargo originating in Washington DC and traveling to Chicago. That company continued to attempt to move cargo by the use of airplanes. Late in the 1920s, many aviation companies were transporting freight because of the tremendous benefits to businesses in the nation whenever they were in need of supplies or merchandise as rapidly as possible. In addition, using air cargo enabled businesses to function without keeping so much inventory on hand (Air Freight.)

Airlines turned to carrying passengers rather than cargo because it was so much more lucrative for profits. Passenger airplanes are constantly being upgraded and expanded so that their capacity to transport huge numbers of people is accompanied by tremendous financial benefits. Many planes carry cargo along with passengers, but the airlines that specifically carry only air freight are at a distinct disadvantage from a financial perspective. They are using up a large amount of jet fuel to fly planes without balancing out the expense by collecting revenues from passengers. Companies like FedEx have been profitable but overall, business people have found it difficult to join the air freight market because of resistance from the established passenger carriers (Air Freight.)

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There are certain innovations that might have kept the cargo industry intact rather than shifting to carrying passengers. If more airline carriers were able to specialize in transporting freight rather than passengers, globalization would likely be a significant driver of the utilization of air cargo aviation. The need for goods to be shipped quickly and globally could make the cargo industry more profitable if it was to specialize rather than using the belly of passenger airlines to move freight. In addition, the cargo aviation business could be more profitable if methods were implemented to resemble those of FedEx, namely a concentration of efforts on small package shipping since people are increasingly purchasing goods online and having them shipped to their homes or businesses. In addition, in order to help the industry while at the same time saving the planet, the air freight industry could become “green” by agreeing to minimize carbon emissions from aviation, promoting “carbon neutral” growth. This type of action would both protect the environment as well as allowing air cargo providers to reduce costs in the long run, thereby increasing revenue (Burnson, 2013.)

  • Air Freight. (n.d.). Retrieved from Century of Flight, Airlines and Airliners:
  • Burnson, P. (2013, September 4). Air Cargo Should Go Green to Save the Environment… And Save Money. Retrieved from Logistics Management: