The era of air cargo transportation began with modern aviation in the early 20th century. Airlines across the country flew freight in the late 1920s, benefiting American businesses when they needed parts or merchandise as quickly as possible. The advent of air freight also allowed businesses to keep less inventory on hand.
The industry stayed relatively small until World War II demonstrated the benefits of moving large parcels and items via air transport. passenger airlines joined together to create the first all-cargo airline, Air Cargo, Inc., while also beginning to develop freight capacity to their fleet.
Despite the optimism, the air cargo industry didn’t really hit its stride until deregulation of the airlines in 1977. The emergence of all-freight air carriers like UPS and FedEx demonstrated the market potential of the air cargo industry and airlines began to realize the importance of cargo to their financial health.
It is from this history that the Airforwarders Association was formed. In 1990, three airforwarders came together to create a unified voice on issues of common interest. The Airforwarders Association now represents more than 200 airforwarding companies with over 3,000 offices throughout the United States and is committed to safeguarding and furthering the interests of airforwarders.