module specification

CA4050 - Air Cargo Services and Operations (2019/20)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2019/20
Module title Air Cargo Services and Operations
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
35 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
70 hours Guided independent study
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Group Simulation Exercise. Students work together in a real time scenario to solve an evolving case study and present on
Coursework 50%   Written Individual Scenario plan (2,000 words.)
Running in 2019/20
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Wednesday Afternoon
Summer studies North Wednesday Morning

Module summary

This module will give an overview of the modern day cargo industry and its operational challenges and opportunities. The module will focus on how the industry has evolved and who the key players are within it. It will examine trends in existing and emergent markets and the increasing role of technology within the sector. The module will also look at relevant key pricing aspects as they relate to both normal cargo and, abnormal  outsize cargo. The Module will also look to study patterns in traffic flows and, a study of topical issues applicable to air cargo managers in today's turbulent trading environment


The Industry in Perspective – An overview of the Industry and its contribution to the aviation sector.

History and developments within the cargo industry

Who’s who in the aviation industry
Types of cargo operators 
Freight forwarder
Integrators LO1

Routes, viability and network of air cargo operators LO2

Appropriate documentation and labelling

Pricing and revenue structures within air cargo operations

The impact of technology implementation within the sector. (To include e-cargo initiatives and the development of internet/intranet systems to support operational aspects.

Regional case studies ( Asia and ME)

Regional Case Studies (USA and EU) LO1

Weight, balance and loadsheets LO2

Dangerous goods, outsize cargo and specialist transportation requirements. LO2

Cargo Operations – Designing the appropriate facilities LO1

The social, economic and environmental impact of cargo operations. 

The future of air cargo operations, Trends forecasts and new initiatives.

The future challenges and opportunities of e-commerce and cargo operations

The impact of retail developments / Trends in consumer purchasing on cargo operations

The threat of other transport modes or operational methods (ie drones) to the air cargo industry LO2

The long term viability and sustainability of air cargo Operations LO1,LO2

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The formal delivery of the teaching and learning will be based on three contact hours per week. The contact hours will be formed of a two hour interactive session which draws from teaching and learning strategies such as workshops, lectures, guest speakers, case study discussions, panel discussions and debates, film and DVDs, as well as scenario-based real time activities and simulations.

Practical activities such as devising weight and balance sheets will also be explored as they are still necessary in the industry.

Peer to peer learning will also feature within the programme as students work together to develop solutions to practically based solutions and assess/ critique the relevant impact.

Groupwork will form a large part of the sessions, with student participating in active learning as they disseminate and discuss relative experience and acquired knowledge.

The remaining hour of contact time will be a seminar based approach where students will explore current themes and trends in more detail.

Within the module there is significant opportunity to participate in proactive learning activities via the use of Weblearn facilities which promote inter-active discussions between both peers and lecturers and enables learners to share resources and access links to external journal articles, websites and other sources.

Discussion and debate are actively encouraged both within the classroom context and via Weblearn. Students participating in this degree come from a variety of backgrounds and often have a wealth of industry experience upon which to draw. It is useful to access this via proactive and inter-active classroom management. Students have a responsibility to prepare for forthcoming lectures so as to ensure that they fully understand the concepts discussed and, so as they can participate fully in debates and discussions. This can be done via accessing the module specifications on-line or via Weblearn, and ascertaining the forthcoming weeks lecture content.

Tutors will provide an indication of forthcoming lecture content at the end of each preceding lecture. The student should then research articles and appropriate readings around these themes so as to contribute fully to discussions and inter-active Question and Answer sessions within the lecture.

Opportunities for reflective learning will be available throughout the module as students are given the opportunity to consider their approach to tasks and discussions whilst simultaneously having the opportunity to reflect upon informal feedback that may be given from lecturers on ideas and concepts spoken of in class and, on assessments submitted.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this module, Students will be able to:

• LO1 Illustrate the operational aspects of the modern day cargo industry as it relates to the airline and airport industry in a variety of world regions.

• LO2 Interpret trends, developments and new initiatives in light of strategy, management concepts and changing international role and responsibilities in the cargo industry.

Assessment strategy

Assessment of this module will take the form of a group simulation exercise that looks into how different stakeholders in the cargo sector are working towards incorporating modern technological trends and developments into a fast paced and dynamic industry. There is also a report that looks into the current operational and strategic trends within the sector and the challenges and opportunities that arise within it.


Core Textbooks:

Sales, M. (2016). Air Cargo Management. Routledge
Sales, M. (2013). The Air Logistics Handbook. Routledge
Sales, M. (2016). Aviation Logistics – The Dynamic Partnership of Airfreight and Supply Chain. Kogan Page.

Ancillary Texts:

Morrell, P. (2011). Moving Boxes By Air. Routledge
Merkert, R. (2018). Air Cargo and Logistics. Classic and Contemporary Practice. Academic Press.
Kodovanta, B. (2017). Air Cargo Operations. Lambert Academic Publications.
Erdogan, D. (2017). Understanding of Air Cargo to Provide Customer Satisfaction. Lambert Academic Press.
Kinley, P. (2013) Air Cargo Freight. Amazon Media
Hellerman, R. (2009) Capacity and Revenue Management. Theory and Application in the Air Cargo Industry. Springer Publishing


Other essential sources of information:
1) The Financial Times
2) The Economist
3) Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin

Specific Aviation Journals:

There are a range of e journals of management generally and the aviation industry to access via the online library facilities for this module.  For example – The Journal of Air Transport Management , Aviation Management and Education, Airline Business, Airport Business, Flight International etc.