While shippers seem fairly satisfied with the services of their intercontinental airfreight providers, initial results from a new survey show that for many, there is room for improvement. Some 45% of shippers who responded to the 2003 International Air Cargo Quality Survey identified themselves as "very satisfied" with their providers, with another 38% toning down their responses by reporting to be somewhat satisfied. Nearly half said they receive on-time delivery levels in excess of 98%, with just 10% saying they receive service levels below 90%. "Because air freight is such a critical cog in the machine of today's global economy, the need for providers to continuously meet the expectations of intercontinental air shippers is paramount, especially given the tight tolerance times shippers have for on-time delivery," says Scott Elliff, co-founder of the International Logistics Quality Institute (ILQI), Arlington, Va., which released the initial findings. "We expect that the level of attention devoted to provider performance measurements and management will continue to increase over the next several years." More than 800 shipping managers representing a broad selection of users completed this survey. Service reliability, competitive rates and fast transit times are the attributes they identified as most important in choosing air cargo providers. Eighty-five percent of the shipping managers surveyed said they expect to maintain or increase airfreight's share of intercontinental transportation spending in 2004. More results will be released over the next several months, including rankings of freight forwarders and integrated carriers based on a series of quality criteria. ILQI was founded earlier this year by consulting firms MergeGlobal Inc. and Capital Consulting & Management Inc.