“With reduced capacity we have certainly seen an increase in demand for air cargo, most notably from our client base moving temperature-controlled shipments,” Blake Attley – regional director UK and Ireland – HAE Group tells ACW.
“With our expert in house TC team, we have managed to secure the capacity on the high demand lanes to keep these vital supplies moving.
In the current climate of high demand for cargo, HAE has reported strong results. “Whilst we have had to overcome many challenges, such as lack of capacity, high numbers of quotes, physical separation from the HAE team and other restrictions, our exceptional team, in conjunction with our partner airlines have been very successful in providing solutions to our customer base.
“We like to think we have given service continuity to keep their supply chain moving. Our long-standing carrier relationships and contracts, along with a focus on costs, and our ability to add value to our clients, ensured we produced positive results. We have made sure we have gone the extra mile.”
Attley observes that recent trends in cargo movement have been focussed on high value products, like temperature-controlled shipments. He also notes that the industry is accelerating its move to digital.
“We are happy to say, HAE has been ahead of these trends and we have grown the size of our global team with a centralised admin, finance and ops support team in Nairobi, Kenya.”
Attley explains the GSSA is Investing heavily in technology. Its bespoke Quote Management System (QMS) has been a key part of this and allows airlines and clients real time interaction to quotes and bookings, which ensures HAE’s response to enquiries are faster than the standard.
“These investments have allowed our team to continue to work from the safety of their homes, whilst also allowing for complete business continuity to our client base and airlines,” he adds.
“Our industry leading tech team enabled us to react quickly and effectively to the challenge with the use of technology and data and to ensure our client base has access to our full suite of airline products and solutions. We have turned this challenge into an opportunity.
“We have also developed our long-standing relationships with our GHA partners to overcome airport issues. Ensuring smooth transit as much as possible.”
Another problem facing the industry is that of capacity constraints but Attley assures that HAE’s long-standing relationships with its partner carriers means it is “very well placed” to secure and install additional capacity with passenger freighters and full freighters.
“We worked very closely with both our airlines and freight forwarder customer base to ensure this additional capacity not only provided much needed uplift but was also commercially viable.
“We worked hard to understand the needs of our carriers and match this need to the demand of the customer. We have made fixed commitments to our partner airlines to generate capacity for our customers.”
Have GSA client’s needs changed as the industry is shaken by the disruption? Attley says the core requirements from HAE’s freight forwarding client base has largely remained the same, with access to capacity being the key.
“We are being asked to do more by our customers, so HAE’s GSSA+ approach has been well received.”
This ties in with the company’s digital investments. “We have developed new and market leading solutions to ensure our product offering covers as much of our clients requirements as possible. Our HAE Solutions products continue to be of increasing importance.”
As for the role of the GSA, has this changed amidst the disruption? Attley believes the key functions remain but advancing the team’s skillset is important.
“HAE has developed our team’s skillset and offering to ensure the needs of both our airline partners and clients are met. Our airline partners need continued flexibility and agility, we quickly developed our team’s abilities on services like passenger freighter flight management, including cabin loading both in seat and without seat. The ability to move quickly is a key lesson from this pandemic.”
With 2022 on the horizon, the GSSA aims to keep the momentum going. “We expect to see demand continue to remain strong as we move into 2022, subject to many variables. HAE will continue to invest in and roll out our best-in-class IT systems, whilst also expanding our office footprint in Europe and Africa.
“We will also continue to work on HAE Solutions development across our network to give our airlines and customer a GSSA+ experience.”