To win the battle for the ground, you must reach for the skies
The battle for the skies in time-critical logistics will be the determining factor for freight forwarders as they aim to excel in improving the supply chain. At Priority Freight we are constantly investing in our air freight capabilities and developing strategies to benefit our clients. Air freight is changing as new markets emerge and at the same time facing fresh challenges from established markets through the advancement of digital technologies and evolving operational procedures and regulations.
Good air freight operators will be adapting to changes and must be equipped for what’s coming and preparing for what may be coming. Planning in logistics is the key tool for success and we must strive to organise our businesses in a similar fashion. As a global business our strength is crucial to providing security and transparency for our clients worldwide. There’s a good number of independent companies operating across the big markets worldwide, time-critical specialists, charter operators, ground handlers, etc., all of whom offer top level service based on quality and reliability. In this global market, all of them are constantly seeking the best partners to cooperate and provide the best performance to their client. This is exactly how Priority Freight operates on a constant basis. We know the benefits of working with other organisations whose vision, mission and values match with our own and are able to operate for them as ‘one European structure’ and share the benefits of the relationship. This must always be a “WIN/WIN” partnership.
Being a global company intensifies and consolidates local knowledge which always helps when approaching new and emerging markets. Emerging markets offer lots of opportunities for time-critical logistics utilising air freight services. Our goal is to ensure our standards always meet the regulations in every market, and we must challenge ourselves to perform in the best possible way across all environments. When you go to a new market there’s always a lot of things to do, infrastructures are not ready, each new arena presents challenges that are unique, even if they are recognisable in some form or another. We need to quickly identify the best way to operate to ensure we offer the best air freight solutions, personally I am already heading an international team in different markets and developing an international structure connecting all our offices. This is not just coordination though; our training program is designed to strengthen our teams globally. Our knowledge about every local market is key for us and our success.
How will evolving technology influence time-critical solutions?
Time-critical air freight solutions are the link in the logistic supply chain that keeps the industry moving and essentials, like foods and medicines, fresh and freely available. Good air freight time-critical providers fix problems, solve crisis, and prevent major issues. When this happens in a global scenario, the only “just-in-time” solution will be air freight, as it’s the most expeditious and viable answer.
Global solutions mean joining dots to ensure there are no breaks in the supply chain and that communications are consistent for the client, and importantly, transparent. Communication is an area where, through the advent of digital application, air freight will increase efficiencies. E-freight or paperless electronic communications between freight forwarders, customs authorities, airport handlers and airlines make shipment tracking easier whilst adding another level of transparency for client. As digital advancements progress within the industry, new horizons open, bringing previously unthought of opportunities. Some of these will undoubtably incorporate new regulations but should ensure we act in a well-structured manner that aligns cargo on the ground with air movements. Peer to peer software will link road cargo and air freight more readily, this free flow of information will be the biggest driver of improved efficiencies on the ground and in the air, to benefit air solutions and bond road and air freight in a more unified way.
So, what’s the future of air freight?
The future of air freight is constantly adapting and evolving to new stimulus created by advances in technology and regulations. There have been brief talks about an ‘open skies’ scenario which would allow IATA agents to operate in more than one country under their license, if the European market is opened to all agents, this ‘open-skies’ arrangement would shake up the current market.
Time-critical cargo by its very nature requires the best solution and the most reliable companies involved to ensure that failure at any level is not an option. We are specialists in expedited logistics and our performance is based on security, quality and reliability. We must send the message to the market that in a crisis situation we are the “safe solution”. We must be competitive and provide rational solutions, but our reliability is “not negotiable”.
At Priority Freight, we are involved in the global market. Our solutions are defined by the products we supply. Under my new role as Head of Air Freight, I want our air freight solutions to be our flagship product and ensure we apply the core Priority Freight principals throughout. We will fight to be the most reliable option for our clients by broadcasting our capabilities. We will provide them complete transparency and visibility and be part of their decision-making process as advisors. Training, expertise, products standardisation; there’s a lot of things to do in this area to ensure we continue to be a major influencer.
We are ambitious and look to provide the best performance in the market and this takes a big and consistent effort. We will be at the forefront of air freight logistics through knowledge, skill and endeavour as much as through adapting and innovation.