Ground and Cargo Handling Services Market

Most Exhaustive Report

Ground and Cargo Handling Services Market - Global Outlook and Forecast 2020-2025

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Ground and Cargo Handling Services Market

Most Exhaustive Report

Ground and Cargo Handling Services Market - Global Outlook and Forecast 2020-2025

SKU : ARZ200210 Published on : March 2020 Pages : 256

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This research report on the ground and cargo handling services market covers sizing and forecast, share, industry trends, growth drivers, and vendor analysis. The study includes insights on segmentation by Service Type (ground handling and cargo handling), Airline Type (passenger, cargo, and charter), and Geography (APAC, Europe, Latin America, Middle East and Africa, and North America).

Market Dynamics

The global ground and cargo handling services market has been witnessing continuous growth in the last few decades. The increase in the number of air passengers directly drives the demand for effective ground and cargo handlers. For airliners to provide in-house ground handling services at airports can become a costly affair due to fluctuation in currency values and regulations across geographies. The global air cargo tonnage grew by 25% in 2019 compared to 2010. Also, according to the IATA, the air tonnage is growing at a higher rate and is likely to maintain its growth in the coming years. The booming e-commerce industry and the increasing number of people ordering merchandise via online platforms from overseas have to strengthen freight services. As the majority of e-commerce companies are pushing for one or two day guaranteed deliveries, they employ an increasing number of shipment services to meet their promises. Hence, the growing tonnage of freight through passenger airlines is boding well for the ground and cargo handling services market.

Technological innovations in-ground and cargo handling systems are aimed at reducing errors and speed up operations to provide timely data through the entire value chain, including airplane manufacturers, engineers, and operators, as well as vendors providing ground handling services. The aviation industry has witnessed heavy investments in refining passenger experience, upgrading airplane and flight systems, and improving technological innovations in systems used for ground and cargo handling services. The exchange of information among airport management, airline operators, and ground handlers that had been a manual process is changing. One major innovation being developed and soon to be adopted is the unified XML standards platform for transmitting airline data to facilitate efficient weight and load balance information. Hence, the installation of innovative systems at busy airports is improving the capabilities of service companies, thereby helping them to maintain the stipulated time requirement for turnarounds.


  • The rise in the net profit of the airline industry increases the prospect of new players in the ground and cargo handling services market.
  • APAC, the most populated region in the world, has been witnessing a 10% growth in the number of LCCs in its South-eastern countries.
  • There will be approximately 44 million flight turnarounds undertaken globally by 2021, of which 45% will be outsourced, thereby generating high business opportunities for independent ground and cargo handling service providers.
  • The growth in the air travel and cargo industry has prompted airports to expand and renovate their existing facilities to increase operational efficiency and passenger capacity.

 The ground and cargo handling services market is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 5% during the period 2019–2025.

Ground and Cargo Handling Services Market: Segmentation

This research report includes a detailed segmentation by service type, airline type, and geography.


 Insights by Service Type

With the increase in the number of scheduled passengers, the amount of cargo being transported through the air is growing at a significant rate. The ground handling services market is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 6% and is likely to account for an incremental revenue of $1.84 billion during the forecast period. The growth in scheduled international passengers, the development of new airports, and an increase in retrofitting activities at airports are expected to boost the ground handling segment.  North America leads the passenger and baggage handling service market due to the presence of several international as well as domestic airports. The segment is likely to expand in APAC on account of an increase in domestic and international passengers in China and India. 

The cargo handling services segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 6% during the forecast period. According to IATA, the global demand for air freight increased by approximately 3% in 2018. The overall demand for air cargo is expected to resonate well in the coming years. The highly competitive air freight industry is projected to continue the growth curve in the coming years. The freight handling segment is likely to generate increased revenues during the forecast period. A number of airlines generate additional revenues from extra luggage per passenger. Airlines are also focusing on carrying more freight in their bellies. Not only passenger airlines, but cargo airlines also reported resilient growth in revenues in 2019.  Europe leads the freight handling market, followed by North America.

Insights by Airline Type

Passenger airlines account for the largest share of the ground and cargo handling services market. As passenger airlines carry the largest number of passengers and baggage, they are the main revenue generators for services providers. One of the factors is driving the revenue generation is the ongoing trend of combination airlines. A majority of airlines are primarily passenger airlines; however, they partner with several e-commerce companies to offer belly cargo space to carry express shipment, including perishable items, time-sensitive, and temperature-controlled products.

Cargo airlines primarily focus on carrying the air freight from one place to another both on domestic and international routes. APAC is the largest export center for air freight, western countries remain the largest importer. Europe and APAC constitute high revenues due to currency valuation and the presence of several busiest cargo airports.

Charter airlines are an upcoming segment in terms of revenue generation. The growing consumer confidence in the market and better spending sentiments among millennial millionaires are increasing the number of charter flights. Charter airplanes can be privately owned or part of the corporation fleet, all airplanes require ground handling services at the apron and airport.

Insights by Geography

Europe dominates the global ground and cargo handling services market. The region has well-developed airports with state-of-the-art infrastructure to accommodate a large number of passengers. Passenger travel plays a major role in the economic operations of airports. Further, the growing number of LCC airlines is also fueling the growth of the airport ground service industry. The steadiness in the economy bodes well for the development of new airports as well as capacity increment within existing airlines to cater to the growing number of people preferring to travel by air. The growing economy of European countries allows for a high propensity of international travel per person as well.

The APAC region is witnessing high urbanization. According to the World Bank, the number of urban households in the region will rise by about 68% during the period 2010–2030. While China and Japan are the major ground and cargo handling services market, countries such as South Korea and India are expected to witness increased demand due to improving quality of life and increasing per capita disposable income over the next few years, resulting in a large number of both air passengers and air freight. The region witnessed a growth of 7.3% in demand for air traffic in 2019 because of the robust economic expansion and an increase in the number of air routes available for travelers. Also, the airports in China are the largest contributors to the growth in air passenger as well as air freight segments.

North America is one of the largest markets for ground and cargo handling services. In terms of standalone countries, the US accounts for the largest market in 2019. The demand for North American airlines increased by 4.4% in June 2019. According to the IATA, the comparatively robust economic backdrop in North America is expected to continue to support passenger departures. However, inbound travel is being affected by additional security measures in place to travel to the US. The ground and cargo handling services market in North America is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 5% during the forecast period. The US has the largest airports in the world in terms of passenger traffic.

Key Countries

  • UK
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • US
  • Cana
  • China
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • India
  • Australia
  • UAE
  • Turkey
  • South Africa
  • Brazil
  • Mexico
  • Argentina

 Key Vendor Analysis

The global ground and cargo handling services market witnesses both monopoly and fair competition. The entry to the market is generally based on regulations set by airport managing authorities. The entry barriers for multinational ground and cargo handling service providing companies are often placed by state or federal governments to safeguard local airline subsidiaries. The marketplace is highly fragmented. The four largest handlers account for approximately 24% of the ground handling market. In 2019, over 35 million flight turnarounds were carried out globally, of which an estimated 10 million were outsourced by the airlines. By 2021, it is expected there will be approximately 44 million flight turnarounds undertaken globally, of which 45% will be outsourced, thus presenting rising opportunities for independent ground and cargo handling service providers.

Some bundled services also include airplane maintenance, movement of crew and passengers between terminal gates and the airplane, flight operations, and crew administration. Several vendors, such as Swissport and Dnata, also provide services to charter airlines at the executive terminals, including meet and greet for high-class business travelers.

Key Vendors

  • Swissport
  • Dnata
  • Menzies Aviation
  • Worldwide Flight Services (WFS)

Other Prominent Vendors – Bird Group, Celebi Aviation, SATS, Aviapartner, BBA Aviation, DHL, Fraport, Glamco Aviation, Primeflight Aviation, Havaş, Transworld Aviation, Qatar Aviation Services, Jardine Aviation Services, Gategroup, POS Aviation, Goldair Handling, Aeromexico Services, Airline Assistance Switzerland, Acciona

Key Market Insights

The report provides the following insights into the ground and cargo handling services market for the forecast period 2020–2025.

  • Offers sizing and growth prospects of the market for the forecast period 2019–2024
  • Provides comprehensive insights on the latest industry trends, forecast, and growth drivers in the market
  • Includes a detailed analysis of growth drivers, challenges, and investment opportunities
  • Delivers a complete overview of segments and the regional outlook of the market
  • Offers an exhaustive summary of the vendor landscape, competitive analysis, and key strategies to gain competitive advantage


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