Professional service, the Italian way

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Francesco Traverso, CEO of Cismat

After two years of outstanding growth, Cismat will not let standards slip, CEO Francesco Traverso tells Air Cargo Week.

He says that 2017 was an “outstanding year” and that 2018 was “even better” with growth of 24%. Growth was very strong from the last quarter of 2016 for the whole air cargo industry, continuing throughout 2017 and well into 2018, with Traverso commenting “In 2018, we were thinking maybe it will go down but it went up.”

Like much of the industry, Traverso has noticed the slowdown, admitting that the first quarter of 2019 was “not good”. He says: “It doesn’t look like it will be a best ever, 2017/18 was a perfect period. We are more or less back to normal activity.”

Traverso notes that demand from Asia has, in his words, “collapsed”, saying: “I’m not sure why, it’s possible it’s politics. Both imports and exports are down. I have a friend in sea freight based in Genoa and he has seen a decrease.”

Cismat was established in 1982, making it one of the oldest in Italy and in Europe. It has three offices in Italy, based in Genoa, Milan Malpensa and Rome Fiumicino. The company offers more than basic GSA services to provide added value to customers.

Traverso says: “We also have our own trucking network both domestically and internationally, not many offer this. Sometimes customers have a shipment from Asia and want it trucked from Rome to elsewhere. Usually you would leave this to the handler. This is something others are not willing to do.”

He believes that GSAs in Italy are very professional, and something Traverso wants to avoid is a conflict of interest.

Traverso says: “If you have two airlines direct to the same destination we will not share information. They are part of a family, not just an account.”

As a major manufacturing and export nation, Italy produces goods that the world wants, not just fashion but fruit and vegetables, spare parts, machinery and other cargo. With a population of 60 million people, that also creates an important import market, with a lot of cargo coming from China.

Traverso says: “In a few years we’ve had double the volumes, I can’t ask for more.”