Handling agents – the cornerstone of air cargo in these times

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Paris-based ECS Group pays tribute to the remarkable work of the teams at Global Services Handling (GSH), a French air cargo handling company based at Roissy Charles de Gaulle (CDG) airport in France. Despite the difficulties GSH is facing in this period of unprecedented crisis, ECS Group is highlighting the essential nature of handling and handling teams, without whom airfreight forwarding would quite simply be impossible.

“As in all sectors, we need to reorganize the way we work because of the crisis, with one further difficulty: remote working isn’t possible with goods handling. Our staff levels are down by around 25% but we are continuing to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are 100% operational thanks to our extremely hard-working employees. Our priority is still to make sure that cargo leaves and arrives in total safety,” says Pierre Perez, GSH’s managing director. 

Airlines are doing everything they can to offer more capacity: increasing the number of all-cargo flights, converting passenger flights into freighters, demonstrating greater flexibility, and more – which makes handling agents vital players in ensuring the continuity of the supply chain. Without them, it would be impossible to receive and load cargo, which in turn would also make air freight forwarding impossible.

In addition to the increased risks and greater workload as a result of reduced staffing levels, GSH’s agents also have to tackle the unpredictable nature of flight scheduling. Flight schedules fluctuate from day to day. With extra flights being operated and others postponed, cancelled or delayed for regular flights and even more so for repatriation and all-cargo flights, flexibility and versatility are essential.

But Perez describes: “An amazing sense of team spirit, togetherness and solidarity” among his colleagues.

“We’re all pulling together – we know that our work is essential in order to transport goods and keep the local and global economy running. Helping to save lives by transporting medical products is also a real source of motivation.”

This remarkable work not only plays a crucial role in transporting goods, it also ensures the continuity of the supply chain and maintains the airfreight ecosystem on which all stakeholders are totally interdependent.