If you can adapt, you can grow

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After two exceptionally strong years, it looks like 2019 will be much weaker, but being adaptable means you can strengthen your market share no matter what happens, according to Jasper de Bruijne and Elvira Jonker of Global Airline Services.

In 2019, managing director de Bruijne and sales director Benelux Jonker say airfreight exports are showing a decline. They say demand is going down to main markets and economists fear another recession due to reasons including Brexit, the US-China trade war and instability in the Middle East.

After two strong years, de Bruijne and Jonker say this means the company will have to change the way it works, but that is no problem for a strong GSA.

They tell Air Cargo Week: “Working for different carriers demands a certain level of flexibility and adjusting to different markets and different cultures continuously. It’s our task to keep our principals informed with up to date market information, enabling them to adjust their pricing strategy to the demands of the market.”

They add: “If you are successful at this, you can maintain your market share or even increase it in a weak market and still achieve substantial revenues.”

The summer holidays are now underway, and this is looking like an old-fashioned low season. The company has time on its hands to carry out sales calls, initiate sales promotions and carry out market research.

They say: “We are anticipating a disappointing high season this year for which we want to be prepared fully.”

In the Netherlands, Global Airline Services represents eight carriers, of which the most recent representation started six years ago and the largest contracts have been in place for over 20 years. There are new contracts in the pipeline for the second half of 2019.

They say: “We have a proven track record to establish long term relationships both with the carriers we represent and with the forwarders we sell our products to. We consider them partners and doing business together as a partnership.”

Global Airline Services, part of Global GSA Group is the GSA of choice because of its extensive local network, market knowledge and significant contracts, de Bruijne and Jonker say.

“We hold local and European incentive contracts with all large forwarders, which means that any airline represented by us, automatically gets a preferred carrier status.”

Business in the Netherlands is built on relationships and common sense, something that can make it easy and difficult.

They say: “The easy part, is that the Dutch have a very straight forward way of doing business. The hard part is that you can’t sell them baloney. They know what they are talking about, so the same needs to go for you and your team.”

De Bruijne and Jonker say the world is changing, with forwarders and carriers demanding greater reporting and sales efforts. Commissions are also under pressure.

They say: “That’s why we continue to do what we’ve grown to be successful at, but at the same time always explore new opportunities and business models to be future proof.”