Continuous improvement is all part of being SWISS

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Ashwin Bhat, head of cargo at Swiss WorldCargo

Swiss WorldCargo has been known as a “niche” carrier, something that head of cargo Ashwin Bhat believes makes it stand out in the industry.

He says a major focus is on special products, shipments requiring additional attention and care, which covers a lot of different goods but includes pharmaceuticals and valuables.

Bhat tells Air Cargo Week that Swiss WorldCargo has a strong market share in both segments and has frequently proven its expertise carrying more difficult shipments.

He says: “Our focus on carrying niche products certainly makes us stand out. We have a proven track record in the industry for doing so. Time and time again, we have proven our ability to handle more complicated shipments for customers worldwide.”

The airline and customers are satisfied with Swiss’ product portfolio, which includes passive and active solutions for pharma, and services for valuables, security and general cargo.

Listening to the customer is vital, with Bhat saying: “We are continuously engaged with our customers and along with them with the end customers to meet their needs and requirements so that we constantly adapt and evolve our portfolio according to their needs of the future.”

Swiss WorldCargo is continuing to make investments. Bhat says: “We are also continuing to invest in ensuring that quality is recognised as an important part of our product offering. In the last year, we focused on gaining CEIV certification across our global network and organisation, ensuring our competitiveness as a major global pharma carrier.”

The Zurich Airport hub has state-of-the-art infrastructure, carefully defined processes and efficiency in ground handling. Swiss WorldCargo has collaborated with ground handling partner Cargologic, which is also CEIV certified and GDP certified, and manages the Zurich Airport cargo facility.

Bhat says Swiss WorldCargo is continuing to invest in close collaboration and dialogue with global handling agents to keep exceeding customer needs.

He says: “This currently includes cool storage options, dedicated mail handling facilities, and industry-leading handling times. All of which follows the knowledge and appreciated SWISS quality standards.”

Having the right people is essential, and Bhat says Swiss benefits from Switzerland’s strong labour market and close access to top research universities.

He says: “Switzerland has strong labour regulations and attractive working conditions, so we are regularly able to attract top talent to work at Swiss WorldCargo and SWISS.”

Business is also dependent on diversity, and Swiss WorldCargo relies on a wide variety of ideas and inputs, regardless of age.

Bhat says: “Many of our staff are younger and have recently joined Swiss WorldCargo. At the same time, we also benefit from having experienced staff with a wealth of experience.”

The mix of staff can help Swiss WorldCargo cope with potential threats such as Amazon Prime, which is unlikely to put Swiss WorldCargo out of business anytime soon.

Bhat believes they offer new ideas and encourage industry-wide development in the marketplace.

He says: “In this sense, their ideas can challenge the entire industry and push forward new technological solutions and increase our ambition level.”

Swiss WorldCargo is aiming to keep up with technological changes though Bhat has words of caution.

He says: “It’s important that we do not use technology for its own sake but to bring value to customers.”

Bhat says: “This, combined with our focus on quality and reliability, are our main focuses in ensuring that our customers remain satisfied and we continue successfully transporting and delivering shipments globally.”

To stand out from the crowd, Bhat says: “We aim to bring a certain SWISSness to our business.”

He says this is not just a reflection of being based in Switzerland but also a mindset.

Bhat says: “We focus on continuous improvement internally, and providing quality and reliability to our customers every day. We aim to continue to stand out as a carrier of choice because of our willingness to work closely with our customers to help meet their global needs.”