Strate­gic Moves

As trans­port by ground, air and sea grows ex­po­nen­tially, lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies adapt and spe­cial­ize to suit all needs

BC Business Magazine - - Cargo & Logistics -

Glob­ally, the cargo and lo­gis­tics in­dus­try is in a state of flux. Growth in air, ground and sea trans­port is test­ing the al­ready strained bud­gets of ship­pers. Ca­pac­ity con­tin­ues to shrink and pol­icy changes in global trade are com­pli­cat­ing the move­ment of freight even fur­ther.

Never be­fore has the qual­ity of work in mov­ing cargo been more crit­i­cal, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing that new tech­nolo­gies are act­ing as dis­rup­tors in the trans­porta­tion scene, such as Uber Freight, which is essen­tially an app for freight that op­er­ates like Uber’s ride-shar­ing ser­vice (Con­voy and Ama­zon have sim­i­lar apps as well).

Air Canada meets ship­ping needs

No sin­gle trans­porta­tion spe­cial­ist is more aware of the need for qual­ity ser­vice than Air Canada Cargo, which pro­vides di­rect cargo ser­vice to more than 150 cities and global cov­er­age to an ad­di­tional 450 via in­ter­line part­ner­ships and a vast truck­ing net­work.

Air Canada Cargo has lever­aged its ex­ten­sive in­fra­struc­ture to meet a huge range of cargo ship­ment needs: gen­eral ship­ping; AC Cool Chain (for tem­per­a­ture-sen­si­tive ship­ments); AC DGR (spe­cial han­dling for dan­ger­ous goods); AC Se­cure (for ship­ment of high-value items); and many more op­tions.

And if num­bers count for any­thing, Air Canada Cargo is do­ing things right. “We’ve en­joyed 24 per­cent rev­enue growth so far this year, and year-over-year growth has been con­sis­tently high,” says strate­gic ac­count man­ager Scott Burt­ney. “This is sig­nif­i­cant be­cause we are meet­ing ship­pers’ needs with­out a freighter and in­stead us­ing our pas­sen­ger planes.”

Much of Burt­ney’s time is spent co-or­di­nat­ing per­ish­able ship­ments: “It’s our bread and but­ter,” he says of cargo such as live and fresh seafood, lo­cal berries, vegeta­bles, mush­rooms and Okana­gan cher­ries that are all shipped out of Van­cou­ver to Asia, Europe, South Amer­ica

and within North Amer­ica on a daily ba­sis. And this par­tic­u­lar ser­vice has ben­e­fit­ted from the in­clu­sion of new routes.

“This year, Air Canada added flights from Van­cou­ver di­rectly to Charles de Gaulle air­port in Paris, France, di­rectly to Zurich, Switzer­land, and year round to Delhi, In­dia,” he says.

In ad­di­tion to per­ish­ables reach­ing these desti­na­tions and their in­tended re­cip­i­ents much faster, Air Canada is col­lect­ing tex­tiles from Asia, pro­cess­ing them at its Van­cou­ver hub, then send­ing them to Zurich; and in Delhi the ship­ments in­clude safety and in­dus­trial equip­ment along with per­ish­ables.

“Given the growth in size and im­por­tance of B.C.’S tech trade, I think tech will likely be the next com­mod­ity to add to our routes,” says Burt­ney.

An­other big plus in Air Canada’s strength in the cargo ser­vices realm is the fact that it is ex­pand­ing its fleet.

“We’re in­creas­ing the num­ber of 787s, 777s and 330s cur­rently in ser­vice, and this will con­sol­i­date our ca­pa­bil­i­ties as the global de­mand for air freight con­tin­ues to grow.”

Ex­pan­sion mode for C&D Lo­gis­tics

C&D Lo­gis­tics Ltd. was launched in 1999 by Bruce Mathe­son, a trans­porta­tion lo­gis­tics spe­cial­ist, and his son Dana, who grew up in the in­dus­try; to­gether they have the ex­per­tise to ex­cel with their goal of mov­ing less than load (LTL) and full-load freight by rail and road.

C&D spe­cial­izes in mov­ing all types of freight on all types of equip­ment through­out North Amer­ica and abroad. It rep­re­sents both large multi­na­tional car­ri­ers and small trans­port com­pa­nies that meet all gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tions; it also has ex­cel­lent safety records and main­tains a fleet of a min­i­mum of 10 trucks.

Dana Mathe­son, co-founder of C&D Lo­gis­tics Ltd., says: “Typ­i­cally we’ve been grow­ing our busi­ness an­nu­ally by 15 to 20 per­cent, but this year our growth in­creased by al­most 100 per­cent, which we at­tribute to many ele­ments, in­clud­ing a ro­bust econ­omy and cus­tomer re­ten­tion.” C&D also ben­e­fits from be­ing in­ter­na­tion­ally cer­ti­fied, which has re­sulted in the com­pany achiev­ing a com­ple­tion rate in ex­cess of 5,000 cus­tomers and 100,000 ship­ments.

Un­sur­pris­ingly, C&D is cur­rently in ex­pan­sion mode, hav­ing re­cently opened new sales of­fices in Toronto and Scotts­dale, Ari­zona.

“There’s lots more to come, but we’re al­ways mind­ful that it’s the peo­ple be­hind the busi­nesses we serve who’ve made us a suc­cess, and there­fore we refuse to ex­pand in any­thing but a me­thod­i­cal fash­ion, so as not to com­pro­mise our fo­cus on ser­vice in any way,” he says.

In­ter­na­tion­ally cer­ti­fied, Lan­g­ley-based C&D pro­vides a wide range of ser­vices that con­stantly evolve to meet op­er­a­tional needs with com­plete spe­cial­iza­tion in lo­gis­tics, in­ter­na­tional freight and spe­cial projects. But above all else, Mathe­son says ser­vice is what makes the com­pany stand out as cus­tomiza­tion in nu­mer­ous forms of trans­port al­lows the com­pany to be not only re­spon­sive, but to deal with any is­sues quickly and ef­fec­tively.

Never be­fore has the qual­ity of work in mov­ing cargo been more crit­i­cal

Dana Mathe­son, co-founder of C&D Lo­gis­tics: “It’s the peo­ple be­hind the busi­nesses we serve”

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