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According to the Wall Street Journal, some in the air cargo industry believe that Amazon’s moves into air freight may actually help to jumpstart air cargo demand and growth.

Since Amazon’s recent experimental forays into air and sea freight made news, most of the response has regarded Amazon as a potential competitor to existing air freight and courier companies, and as a threat to the status quo dominated by UPS and FedEx.

However, during a time of overcapacity for air freight carriers, many of whose aircraft remain in storage, some companies have been attempting to offer their services and additional capacity to Amazon. This follows the company's new partnership with Air Transport Services Group (ATSG), who has leased Amazon around 20 Boeing 767 aircraft.

If Amazon pursues these offers, it may help to stimulate demand for air freight, particularly if the company begins to offer its spare capacity to other shippers. Amazon’s technology-oriented approach may also force the industry to evolve its systems and processes and to better serve its customers.

Air cargo growth has been relatively stagnant in the last couple of years, even as the growth of passenger airline services has steadily improved. Most shippers have been opting for cheaper road and rail transport options over express air services.

(Source: Wall Street Journal)

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