Amerijet THE TECH-DRIVEN CUSTOMER-CENTRIC ALL-CARGO CARRIER
“Amerijet has been providing transportation services for almost half a century because of our customer-focused culture. Our emphasis is on adapting technology to our customer-focused culture with investments and better processes to reimagine the customer experience for the air cargo industry.” Eric Wilson, Amerijet CCO
For nearly half a century, Amerijet International Airlines has dedicated its services throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, South America and Europe, from its main hub at the Miami International Airport, supporting their economies, small businesses and people by safely transporting all kinds of goods on all occasions and seasons.
In recent years, the company has been widely recognized for its long-term and short-term ACMI and CMI charter services thanks to its seamless and transparent transportation solutions for customers shipping time-sensitive, valuable, hazardous material, temperature-controlled and other commodity types.
Indeed, Amerijet has successfully connected small businesses, particularly those located in the Caribbean, Mexico and Latin America to the world, providing seamless trade lanes and access to uninterrupted global supplies.
“The customer ACMI and CMI benefits depend on the customer’s type of business and their business needs for a dedicated aircraft operating a specific route. Or, in the case of CMI, their business need requires Amerijet to operate their aircraft for them,” Amerijet Chief Commercial Officer Eric Wilson explains.
With its own fleet of modern aircraft and highly skilled staff, Amerijet operates long and short-term charters for customers from all types of industries.
The Miami-based cargo carrier welcomed six B757 freighters to its fleet in March 2022, part of its comprehensive expansion and modernization strategy launched in 2020. Amerijet operates a total of 20 freighters consisting of 14 Boeing 767s and six Boeing 757s that offer its customers versatility, range, and payload capability, ideally suited for destinations throughout its Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South American and European network.
“This industry is difficult to predict, but we expect to see continued strong global demand for air cargo similar to 2021 and overall, continued pressure on the global supply chain across modes. We also anticipate fuel prices to remain high. We also expect to continue to grow across the business and offer our customers reliable capacity when and where it’s needed.”
When disaster strikes in Latin America, count on Amerijet to be the first to bring emergency relief aid. “Emergency response is different; our charter division handles that. We always strive to be the first carrier providing medical and emergency aid in our service region (Caribbean, Mexico, Central/South America),” said Wilson.
Pulling all resources
This pandemic, Amerijet triumphantly rose to the challenges of the time, pulling together all its resources to deliver vital medical supplies, including COVID-19 vaccines, and other necessities to communities and businesses relying on its services to survive tough times.
“The pandemic enabled Amerijet to showcase what we do best, and have done, for nearly 50 years- transport critical shipments across our network for our customers, partners and friends, including life-saving Covid-19 vaccines. Our entire company has pulled together in unimaginable ways throughout the pandemic to deliver for our customers,” shared Wilson, a prolific and globe-trotting aviation expert who joined the company in February 2021.
Amerijet continues to innovate and introduce cost-effective solutions as the global economic recovery efforts roll on.
“We have learned to expect the unexpected during the past three years. Our customers are telling us they expect the industry will continue to be pressured, with continued strong demand for air cargo capacity. We expect fuel prices to continue to remain high in the near term and we are watching this very closely. Geopolitical events around the world will impact our business,” said Wilson.
“We are still living under a global pandemic. How will sub-variants impact our lives and how will countries respond? While these questions get addressed, we are going to stay flexible, continue to invest in our businesses including enhancing our scheduled and non-scheduled services, stay focused on our customers and learn to live with and grow under uncertainty,” he added.
1st US carrier recertified with IATA CEIV program
Amerijet’s cold chain pharma standards and processes have been certified by IATA since 2017 and in August 2020, it became the first U.S. airline to be recertified with the IATA CEIV program, enabling it to safely transport COVID-19 vaccines where they were needed when they rolled out later that year.
“It was an amazing feeling of accomplishment to see photos and videos of the first shipments reaching airports and the happiness and relief seen on the faces of those citizens who would be able to get their first shots thanks to the work of literally hundreds of logistics professionals around the world who simply did what they do best every day. I am incredibly proud of what we did and will cherish those memories the rest of my career,” shared Wilson.
Equally important to the delicate mission of transporting the temperature-sensitive COVID-19 vaccines is Amerijet’s 360,000 square-foot import/export facility in Miami, Florida. This includes 40,000 square feet of temperature-controlled receiving and cooler space. The temperature in the cooler is monitored 24/7. Alerts and alarms are sent via email and SMS notification to staff members to intercede as needed to mitigate any risk to the temperature integrity.
Known for its exceptional handling service expertise to all types of pharmaceutical cargo such as vaccines, clinical trials, plasma, raw materials for testing, biomedical products and laboratory reagents, among many other pharma and life-sciences products, Amerijet takes pride in providing world-class standards when it comes to these things.
“We are very proud about our CEIV recertification completed two years ago. Recertification can often be more difficult to achieve than the initial approval and we are so proud of what our operations colleagues did to make this happen. Our team across the board understands what is involved in the correct handling of temperature-controlled products. Our team is aided by a wonderful, purpose-built facility here at our home base in Miami with a state-of-the-art industrial ammonia-powered cooler that is the largest on the U.S. East Coast and located literally steps away from where we load the aircraft,” said Wilson.
“The timing of recertification enabled us to be ready to assist in the transport of the first covid vaccines and we worked with a number of parties, both governmental and non-governmental in early 2021 to ship these vaccines produced in Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere across our network into the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America,” he added.
SmartKargo and Amerijet
Apart from investing in aircraft, infrastructure and people, Amerijet has partnered with SmartKargo to provide scalability and greater efficiency as well as a streamlined user experience.
“SmartKargo was selected as our cargo management system in 2020 to replace a legacy system that was first built in 1979s. In many ways, the Amerijet Cargo Management System (ACMS) was ahead of its time and supported the growth of our airline for over 40 years. Like all technology, we had simply come to a place where its sustainability was no longer viable and a replacement system was needed,” said Wilson.
“We looked around the marketplace and the SmartKargo cloud-based system offered the flexibility, scalability and importantly the simplicity we needed. We are incredibly proud of our partnership with SmartKargo. Their team has been incredibly supportive and have proven to be adept listeners and observers as we walked them through our business and how we do things. Overall, we are very happy with how the system is performing since we implemented on March 1 of this year,” he added.
“Change is never easy, especially when it comes at the expense of a system all of us knew so well, but with SmartKargo, we all proved we can learn something new that will be ready to support us as we grow.”
Innovative air cargo technology
Expounding further on SmartKargo’s many benefits to Amerijet’s strategic global growth plans, Wilson said it is an essential tool to provide their customers worldwide access to real-time price quotes, bookings and ability to track shipments across their network.
“Ultimately, air cargo is all about speed across the entire shipment lifecycle, and SmartKargo is the tool empowering that speed,” he said. “Digitization is infinitely scalable and as we grow, the right technology will be able to scale with us to support our employees and customers.”
The pandemic has accelerated digitalization across many industries. The air cargo industry, tasked to transport COVID-19 vaccines, was forced to quickly adapt and adjust to the tech world.
The once cost-prohibitive technology solutions became more accessible and affordable giving the air cargo industry more incentive to embrace digitalization.
“The air cargo industry does not lack for challenges and attracts professionals who are good at solving problems. I think in the past, where the industry lacked a strong tech solution, or a tech solution was available but cost prohibitive, the industry simply put people in place to solve a problem. We are now seeing an emergence of strong technology solutions that are more affordable than ever before available to the industry. This is driven by agile companies that see opportunities in the industry and have clever and innovative solutions to fix nagging problems,” said Wilson.
“Amerijet is a forwarding-leaning, pro-technology company and we believe we are just the right size to implement any number of solutions that will make it easier for our employees to do their jobs and enable our customers to have the products, tools and information they need to easily do business with us. Companies need to offer their employees the best, cutting-edge technology. When the best employees are matching with innovative, leading technology, sustainable growth follows,” he noted.
E-commerce continues to be the preferred shopping method of many consumers — and will continue to be popular. People have become accustomed to having supplies delivered to their doorstep, the air cargo industry must continue to provide innovative technological solutions that will facilitate safe and quick transportation of various goods.
“We are shopping as much as we ever did before the pandemic but doing it from the comfort of our living rooms. It’s imperative that customers have a positive experience and the companies that get it right are going to be successful and survive for the long run,” the Amerijet CCO stressed.
“Amerijet has been around for almost half a century because of our customer-focused culture. What we intend to do is adapt technology to our customer-focused culture with investments and better processes to reimagine the customer experience for the air cargo industry.”