Key Factors Contributing to Management Strategy Development at Air Cargo Carriers

By Wouter Dewulf, Eddy Van de Voorde and Thierry Vanelslander

The air cargo industry can nowadays be judged as a mature industry, where strategy is being drafted far beyond the basic entrepreneurial framework in which an emerging industry tends to operate.This article deals with the key factors contributing to management strategy development at air cargo operators. The objectives of the management of these air cargo operators are being discussed and analyzed.  These objectives can be extremely diverse, and have different mixes of priorities over time. The management objectives determine the key drivers for the management strategy development. The management objectives are on their turn strongly influenced by the industrial environment created by the key drivers and trends of the air cargo industry.  Part of this article focuses on the influence of the key drivers and trends of the air cargo industry on management strategy development and analyzes the key drivers of the management’s strategic thinking within the air cargo industry. These key drivers are being grouped in three main strategic areas: product strategy, market strategy and network strategy, each with their own driving factors. The final part presents and compares a typology of two extreme (‘low cost’ versus ‘full service’ operator) air cargo operators’ management strategies.

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