Monday, April 16, 2012

Charter Consortium Created to Benefit Air Freight Forwarders

New Alliance Will Utilise Economy of Scale
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE - Three cargo charter brokers have joined forces to launch the Global Charter Alliance, which they claim is the world’s first consortium of independent brokers. Their aim is to continue providing highly-personalised service, particularly for air freight forwarders, but with the benefits of a network behind them. The three founder members of the Global Charter Alliance (GCA) – Pacific Airlift of Singapore, The Charter Store of the USA, and recently-formed NEO Air Charter of Germany – will work closely together to exploit operational efficiencies, share contacts, market intelligence and other information, leverage collective buying power and benefit from economies of scale.

Owners of the three companies have spent many years working together in their existing and previous companies, but GCA brings new levels of organisation and commitment to their collaboration. Andrew Sim, Director of Pacific Airlift explained:

“We know each other very well, and have successfully worked together on many projects. The recent launch of NEO by our old friends Adnan Duran and Stefan Kohlmann acted as a catalyst for the creation of GCA, and a way of building our cooperation to the next level.”

Harry Steiner, Senior Partner and co-founder of The Charter Store added:

“Success in charter broking is all about people, their knowledge and their contacts. GCA starts life with an impressive pool of extremely experienced and capable people who are highly effective as individuals, and will now be even more so as part of a larger team.”

The group say that GCA members will enjoy greater efficiency, stronger marketing and reduced costs, while customers will benefit from faster responses, more localised presence at origin and destination, and potential opportunities to reduce costs through sharing of capacity and better use of empty legs. Stefan Kohlmann, now joint Managing Partner of Frankfurt-based NEO, is sure that the personal relationships will play a major role in the group’s success saying:

“GCA retains the unparalleled dedication and commitment that you only get from people who own their own businesses. It combines this with the benefits of regional coverage and scale that the multi-nationals enjoy. The charter market has become dominated by a small number of major players, and we believe this has been detrimental to service standards and competition; neither carriers nor shippers have benefitted. The Global Charter Alliance aims to provide an alternative model, in which size and infrastructure do not replace customer focus, fair deals and competitive pricing.”

As with NEO, GCA has pledged always to respect existing relationships between freight forwarders and their shipper clients and believe the larger charter brokers often care more for government agencies and larger shippers thus neglecting the traditional freight forwarders whereas GCA see forwarders as an essential link in the supply chain.

The current membership of GCA provides it with solid coverage of the USA, Asia Pacific and Europe, supplemented by service partners in other parts of the world that enables it to conduct charters to or from any location. GCA plans to expand its membership further, but will do so in a carefully-controlled manner, enforcing high standards and not compromising these by admitting new members who do not meet the GCA’s strict criteria.