ACW speaks to Delta Cargo president Gareth Joyce

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Delta Cargo’s president, Gareth Joyce has been at the helm since the middle of 2016 and has big plans to grow business.

ACW: What have been the biggest challenges since you joined Delta Cargo?

Joyce: Delta Cargo has the potential to redefine the product and service we offer. We have an opportunity to make this business far more customer-centric and consumer-oriented, as well as being solution orientated. Until now, Delta Cargo has operated on very transactional lines – fill the bellies of the planes we’re flying, move the product from A to B on time and on target. But there is a consumer component that we need to bring to the business.

We need to listen to our customers and understand what they are trying to get from where to where. We must have empathy for the demand that’s out there and be sensitive to what would delight our customers, because if you want to be great in the cargo game you have to go beyond transactional.

You have to get to a more relationship-driven operation that understands what the customers need out of the business. And that’s not just being the most affordable. It’s much more about being solution-orientated.

ACW: How has working for Delta Cargo compared with previous positions you held?

Joyce: Prior to joining Delta, I held a variety of leadership positions with Mercedes-Benz throughout Africa, Europe and North America. At Mercedes-Benz we led a very complex network of business functions that included moving 60 million parts around the country, doing 2.5 million services on cars and supporting nearly two million call centre customer interactions each year.

More than logistics, Delta is centred on service. Great service is delivered when three components hit the target simultaneously: strong and stable processes and systems combined with highly capable and motivated people. All three of these apply to our challenges within the cargo business.

ACW: How would you sum your performance in 2016?

Joyce: There were a lot of things that went well in 2016 but I think probably the most important thing was that sense of teamwork, that sense of understanding what we’re trying to achieve as a group of people working together towards a common goal.

We need strong processes to make sure that we can utilise our network capacity to get our customers’ product from A to B successfully, on-time and with the best possible quality. In 2016 we began a multi-million dollar investment and upgrade of our systems, tools and processes that our customers will begin to meaningfully benefit from in 2017. We need good systems to make sure processes run seamlessly with minimal human interaction. This enables the people to focus their energy and efforts on taking care of the customers’ interests and creating value.

Gareth Joyce
Gareth Joyce

ACW: What were Delta Cargo’s strongest freight trade lanes?

Joyce: Delta’s strong network coupled with our joint venture alliances and partnerships, performance, fleet, capacity, reliability and brand gives us a strong market position across the globe.  Through this we continue to see strong performance in the US as well as from Latin America, Pacific and Europe.

ACW: What types of cargo did you see strong growth in?

Joyce: We saw growth in the transportation of high-end goods such as fashion and cars, as well as pharma and our express product, DASH, continues to be a key performer for us across the US.

ACW: What are your aims and objectives for 2017?

Joyce: We need to double down on our greatest strengths. There are two key priorities.

Priority one: operational reliability of delivery end-to-end that matches the airlines world class on time performance metrics.

Priority two: develop systems, tools and people focus to ensure customer focus develops in all we do, from bookings to delivery.

I want our customers to come to us with new business because they know we’re the best. When you’re delivering a product that your customers celebrate, you’re doing it right. I’m challenging my teams to ask questions and deliver ideas that will make Delta Cargo head and shoulders above our competition in service delivery.

In a market that is oversaturated with capacity, if we get this right, we have a better chance that customers will bring their business to us through value creation and not just price.

ACW: What trade lanes and sectors are you targeting growth in?

Joyce: Delta is continuing to grow its foothold internationally and as the airline looks into new opportunities to connect the world, Delta Cargo is becoming more connected with global trade. This year Delta will launch seven new routes with three new markets including Lisbon, Berlin, and Glasgow. We will also be launching new Pacific service Atlanta – Incheon and resuming service between Atlanta and Brussels in April. These are both large cargo markets for Delta.

Add to that we have invested in CEIV certification in our major hubs in the US and internationally and have completed all training requirements as we grow our pharma offering globally in conjunction with our joint venture and alliance partners.

We will continue to enhance and differentiate our DASH products to enrich our domestic offering. Internationally, we are testing new services that better meet the needs of our customers and we look forward to sharing more details throughout 2017.

ACW: Are you welcoming any new aircraft in 2017?

Joyce: This year we will receive 53 aircraft deliveries.  We will begin taking delivery of 25 A350s enabling further expansion of our cargo offering in the Asia Pacific region. We will also receive A330-300s, 737-900ERs and A321-200 aircraft in 2017.

ACW: Where is Delta Cargo investing in 2017?

Joyce: Delta Cargo will be making significant investment in our technology systems as well as focusing on operational reliability and the rollout across the system of RFID tracking technology. With Delta’s strong operational performance we need this to translate into our cargo operations ensuring reliable freight delivery right across our global network.

We will also be focusing on our innovative product and service offering as well as listen and work with our customers and freight forwarders to make Delta Cargo much more customer centric. We will also be investing heavily in the customer experience including training and customer experience tracking Net Promoter Score measurement, as well as expansion of our trucking network.

ACW: How do you see the future of the air cargo industry?

Joyce: Continue to be robust with capacity, and additional technology entrants will make it a fiercely competitive environment. Integrated logistics services will be crucial to provide customers with more seamless end-to-end solutions.