Blog: Chris Brook-CarterAir cargo bomb threat has far-reaching consequences

Chris Brook-Carter | 2 November 2010

The UK's Home Secretary Theresa May has announced a review of all aspects of air freight security in the UK. The news follows Friday's discovery of a bomb on a US-bound UPS cargo plane at East Midlands airport and a similar bomb on a FedEx plane in Dubai.

It is too early to start hypothesising how this will affect industry in the UK, and the food and drink business ships only a small percentage of its imports by air. Indeed, when just-food questioned the country's retailers back in April, when the Icelandic ash cloud halted air travel, the likes of Asda and Tesco insisted that between only 1% and 2% of its food arrived by air.

However, the food and drinks logistics industry is facing the prospect of tighter security regulations and with it increased costs, at a time when rising transportation bills are already a major concern.

Although the likes of The British International Freight Association have insisted that the UK's regulations are stringent and meet high safety standards, a number of other dissenting voices can also be heard, claiming that the shipping of air freight remains the weak link in airline safety.

So whilst there have been calming calls to resist a knee-jerk reaction to the latest al-Qaeda threat, the political consequences of doing nothing remain too high. The food and drinks industry should brace itself for disruption and an inflating logistics bill.

Are you in the food or drinks logistic business? What are your thoughts on this posting?


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