Cargo handlers adapt as airfreight industry accelerates

Singapore freight forwarders – Star Concord
22-Jan-2024

In the last four decades, the logistics industry, especially in airfreight, has undergone significant transformation. The demand for faster, more reliable transport solutions has positioned the sector as a vital component of international trade and e-commerce has given the industry an additional boost.

Digitalisation and globalisation have increased the need for speed, standardisation and efficiency – but also for closer integration with valued customers and partners. E-AWBs (electronic air waybills) are replacing manual paperwork. Sophisticated tracking systems and collaboration platforms are giving customers end-to-end transparency. 

cargo-partner, a full-range logistics provider offering a comprehensive portfolio of air, sea, land transport and warehousing services, has sought to ride this wave of opportunity.

“Our strong network in Europe, Asia, the USA and Australia has been instrumental in helping us connect businesses across continents. With our control tower solutions, we provide end-to-end service from a single source, leveraging our global network while staying true to our motto “we take it personally,” Jo Feiks, Corporate Director Product Management Air Cargo at cargo-partner, explained.

Growth and opportunity

With a long-established and strong presence in Central and Eastern Europe and Asia, cargo-partner has made significant investments in recent years, strengthening its network in Western Europe and the USA to become even closer to customers in those markets.

Across 2023, cargo-partner saw major warehouse expansions in Slovakia, Croatia and Turkey, as well new air and sea freight consolidation services between Asia and Western Europe. 

In November, the logistics provider opened its fourth office in the UK, right next to London Heathrow Airport. After embarking on a joint venture with Aztek International Freight Ltd in 2021, cargo-partner acquired the remaining shares of the UK-based company in 2022. It now has branch offices in Manchester, Basildon, Bradford and London, offering comprehensive air, sea and road transport solutions.

“We are always doing our best to adapt to the needs of our customers,” Feiks said. “This includes offering a range of “speed service levels” to choose from in each of our transport modes – air, sea, rail and road.

“Our ECONOMY service stands out as the most cost-efficient choice. Opting for PRIORITY ensures both space priority and a personalised customer service experience. And when every minute counts, our EMERGENCY solutions show what we mean by our motto “we take it personally,” as we go above and beyond to deliver tailor-made solutions for our customers’ urgent shipments,” he added.

READ: BIFA Freight Service awards winners revealed

The extra mile

cargo-partner’s final mile service is a vital component of their end-to-end logistics commitment and represents a “one-stop shop” approach. As a logistics provider, they always aim for long-term cooperation and deep process integration with their customers to create sustainable “win-win” solutions. 

“This allows us to enhance overall supply chain efficiency, reduce lead times, proactively address challenges and adapt to the dynamically changing needs of our customers,” Feiks stated.

Just as cargo-partner values a close and personal relationship with their customers, the same principle applies to their internal, cross-department collaboration. 

“We take a long-term, holistic view of product development, including air, sea, rail and road transport, and are always looking for innovative solutions,” Feiks outlined. “In this context, diversification of services also plays a key role in reducing vulnerability to disruptions and rate fluctuations.” 

For example, cargo-partner recently managed several time-critical shipments which they moved out of South China and delivered via Thailand or Vietnam as rates and capacities were simply more competitive.

“Our customers welcome our multimodal abilities, and this flexibility is valued especially during critical capacity issues,” he added. 

e-commerce boom

The online shopping boom has given a big boost to the airfreight industry. e-commerce offers convenience and worldwide accessibility, leading to a higher need for fast and dependable transport services. 

Airfreight is the ideal solution due to its efficiency and speed. In addition, the e-commerce market is subject to changing demand and seasonal peaks, which airfreight’s flexibility and speed can cater to effectively. “Recently we have witnessed an increased seasonal demand from our customers, and we now offer additional charter solutions,” Feiks stated. “Our Hong Kong warehouse is just one of many cargo-partner hubs offering specialised services for e-commerce sellers, with several other warehouse locations worldwide. e-commerce has long been an integral part of our service offering, as reflected in our SPOT supply chain management platform, which includes a dedicated parcel module.”

READ: cargo-partner introduces airfreight consols between W Europe and Asia

ESG responsibility

cargo-partner believes that its role as a key player in the global logistics market comes with a strong environmental and social responsibility. 

“Our membership in the UN Global Compact underscores our commitment to building a sustainable future for the logistics industry. This includes efforts to optimise transport routes, reduce carbon emissions, and implement sustainable packaging solutions,” Feiks highlighted. “In addition, our involvement in the UN Global Compact demonstrates our commitment to ethical behaviour and responsible business practices in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment, and anti-corruption.” 

By actively participating in this global initiative, cargo-partner aims to drive positive change within the industry and help create a more sustainable and responsible future for logistics.

In addition, cargo-partner’s airfreight department started their first SAF (sustainable aviation fuel) transports exactly one year ago. 

“It is still a niche product, but we are seeing increased customer interest,” Feiks added.

 

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Author: Edward Hardy