module specification

CA4050 - Air Cargo Services and Operations (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
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
40 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
74 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group Presentation 30%   Individually Assessed Group presentation (10 minutes)
Coursework 70%   Individual report - 1500 words
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Monday Afternoon

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 module aims to provide students with:

1. An understanding of the importance and relevance of cargo to the aviation industry in terms of traffic movements, key players and contribution to GDP.

2. Knowledge of how the cargo industry has evolved and, the operational and resource requirements of the sector as we move towards increased technological implementation and electronic documentation.

3. An ability to understand trends, specialist freight movement requirements and market characteristics of the industry

4. To comprehend how costs and prices work within the sector

The module also aims to develop students' skills, in particular: academic study skills; IT; literacy; applied analysis; entrepreneurship, critical thinking; interpersonal and team-working; communication, including oral presentation; and problem solving



The Industry in Perspective – An overview of the Industry and its contribution to the aviation sector.  LO2

History and developments within the cargo industry  LO2

Who’s who in the aviation industry  LO2

Types of cargo operators - Freight forwarder - Integrators  LO1

Routes, viability and network of air cargo operators  LO1

Appropriate documentation and labelling LO1

Pricing and revenue structures within air cargo operations LO1

Dangerous goods, outsize cargo and specialist transportation requirements.  LO1

Cargo Operations – Designing the appropriate facilities  LO1

The social, economic and environmental impact of cargo operations. LO2

The future of air cargo operations, Trends forecasts and new initiatives. LO2

The future challenges and opportunities of e-commerce and cargo operations (To include e-cargo initiatives and the development of internet/intranet systems to support operational aspects). LO2

The threat of other transport modes or operational methods (ie drones) to the air cargo industry 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 spread over 12 weeks with additional enrichment weeks throughout the semester. 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.

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. We will also make use of alumni to provide a careers perspective for this section of the industry and make use of guest lecturers to provide contextual learning.

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:

• 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 (LO1).

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


The full reading list can be found via the following link:

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.