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Cargolux has called on the perishables industry to be more creative when booking space, with expected aircraft orders unlikely to satisfy demand.

Speaking to The Loadstar, Cargolux general product manager Stavros Evangelakakis and director of global logistics Franco Nanna called for the wider integration of predictive analytics.

Mr Nanna said growers and retailers of fresh fruit and vegetables alike needed to incorporate predictive analysis into their business models if they wanted to avoid capacity crunches.

“Based on the latest figures, freighter orders – and aircraft orders in general – will not satiate demand from the perishables sector,” said Mr Nanna.

“Even aircraft on order will take a few years before they are brought into service, so producers need to get better at knowing when their products will be harvested so they can intelligently book space.”

Mr Evangelakakis said only by utilising AI would the industry be able to offset the sort of capacity crisis that hit both the air and sea freight sectors during the 2017 peak seasons.

One forwarder told The Loadstar at FruitLogistica in Berlin that, owing to a dearth of capacity, it found itself agreeing to block space agreements on certain routes for the first time.

Figures cited during the event showed that by 2030 the global perishables industry would be worth some $4.8trn, and Mr Evangelakakis said carriers were duty-bound to support the industry

“However, they need a critical mass that can make the business sustainable for them as well,” he continued.

“You have some commentators in the industry saying they are willing to pay over the odds for the right service, but before we discuss rates we need to know what this service is.”

Mr Nanna said there was also a duty from the perishables sector to provide the sort of critical mass that would make increased capacity sustainable for air and ocean carriers alike.

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