As 2018 enters its second half, HAE director, UK & Ireland John Ward is confident that the year will prove very strong for the Derbyshire-based multi-platform air cargo industry services provider.
He says: “In our experience the first half of 2018 has been very strong, with positive gains made in both volumes and yields. While summer volumes have reduced as expected, our customers are confident of a very strong end to the year with capacity demand outstripping supply.
“However, while the lack of answers to critical ‘exit day’ questions prompts major UK-based manufacturers to broadcast threats of withdrawn investment from the UK, it is hard to know how long the current level of confidence can last.”
HAE is headquartered in the UK, and has been since its inception in 1997. It now has business in 13 countries throughout Europe, The Americas, Middle-East, Africa and Asia. The majority of the revenue generated in the UK comes from HAE’s GSSA business, and this is also where most of the business’s activity is channelled.
Ward says: “This business is complemented by our charter, solutions, training and handling divisions which are growing rapidly, providing more options for our freight forwarding customers, and contributing increased revenues to our airline principals.”
HAE’s experience so far has been positive with regard to Brexit, as the general weakening of sterling against the dollar is contributing to an increase in exports across the Atlantic.
“We expect to see a negative impact on overall European volumes post-Brexit, but there is a possibility that the impact on air cargo could be offset by some mode shift from road to air if the border processes become too onerous,” says Ward.
“There will always be changes which we need to adapt to, the largest in my career so far will be Brexit. We can only speculate as to what the impact of that might be, as important questions remain unanswered, but HAE is an agile organisation which is quick to adapt to the needs of the customer and the business. In recent years we have remodelled our business through centralisation, and through implementation of new technologies, both of which are realising significant benefits to our airline and freight forwarding customers.”
FY 2017/18 has been a very busy time for HAE in the UK. “In the previous 18 months, our handling division has added 70,000 sq ft of capacity across three airport locations, which has allowed us to enhance the service that we provide to our freight forwarder customers. Our GSSA division has been awarded the regional CSA contract for Oman Air Cargo, and through their excellent performance and hard work, has successfully retained key contracts with our principal airline partners.”
Ward looks to a post-Brexit future: “Whether one agrees or disagrees with Brexit, it certainly is an exciting time for the industry. Great Britain is on the cusp of a new era in transport and logistics. Open minds and a can-do attitude will be required to make a success of it.”