Since the start of 2021, IAG Cargo, the cargo division of International Airlines Group (IAG), has transported over 8,000 tonnes of automotive spare parts, indicating a confident start to the year for vehicle manufacturing across the world. A significant proportion of IAG Cargo’s shipments were delivered via 95 charter flights and arranged by IAG Cargo’s specialist charter team that was formed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
IAG Cargo has seen an uptick in requests to transport automotive parts in 2021, indicating that assembly plants around the world are ramping up production. Popular routes include Germany to South Africa, Mexico to the UK, and Southeast Asia to the US. The consignments include engines, pistons, doors and tyre rubber and the majority of the charters utilised the group’s Boeing 777s and 787-Dreamliners.
Airfreight is ideally suited to the just-in-time manufacturing processes favoured by automotive manufacturers. A report from the Economist Intelligence Unit, published in October 2020, predicted double-digit growth in global new-vehicle sales in 2021, and a recent report from ING cites predictions from Moody’s of a rebound of 11-12% in aggregate organic revenues of European auto parts suppliers in 2021.
Freddie Overton, Regional Commercial Manager for Europe & Africa at IAG Cargo commented: “We’ve seen an increase of requests to charter our aircraft to transport automotive parts across the world. The use of airfreight in the automotive industry continues to grow and given the need to operate on a just-in-time basis, only air cargo can transport time-critical spare parts to its destination in hours rather than weeks. In addition to our Charter service, our customers benefit from our Critical service – so whether it’s a last-minute order or emergency replacement equipment we can support them to move critical shipments across the globe via our extensive network.”