New appointments as SEKO Logistics enters a new phase of global airfreight growth

SEKO Logistics is signaling their next phase of international airfreight growth with two global appointments to leverage opportunities from client demand for critical products, expansion of cross-border ecommerce, and new business from acquired companies.

Christopher Gregg joins SEKO as Senior Vice President Global Airfreight from his previous role as Vice President Airfreight, North America, at Hellmann Worldwide Logistics. His experience spans airfreight management roles with C.H. Robinson, Kuehne + Nagel, and Expeditors International. At SEKO, he is based in Atlanta, in recognition of the city’s role as a global airfreight hub, and its strategic importance to SEKO going forward.

Shawn Richard, appointed as SEKO’s first VP of Global Airfreight in 2018, has also been promoted to Senior Vice President International Service Centers (ISCs) and will remain based in New York. Richard joined SEKO four years ago, having formerly worked with DHL Global Forwarding, Geodis, and Delta Airlines.

SEKO has been transitioning from their legacy Airfreight Gateway structure to operational International Service Centers – which has facilitated and enabled tremendous growth in airfreight and ecommerce shipping service offerings.

SEKO’s USA ISCs are currently operating in JFK and LAX and will be expanding into several other key markets over the next 6-12 months. SEKO ISCs are critical for ecommerce and air freight operations as they are Certified Cargo Screening Facilities (CCSF), as well as an acting import CFS for inbound parcels from Europe and Asia. With a global remit to optimize SEKO’s current ISCs and to implement further ISCs across the US and globally to meet the service requirements of airfreight clients.

These key global roles will enable SEKO to “structure and grow our global airfreight product, build our global airfreight team, and drive our airfreight focus in the US, Asia Pacific and Europe,” said Steen Christensen, who joined the company in June as Chief Operating Officer – International to lead SEKO’s Air and Ocean freight product growth.

“Strengthening our airfreight leadership team with new people and new roles reflects the increasing importance this product is having on our organization. As we expand geographically – both organically and through acquisitions – we must have the appropriate leadership in place to manage the future development and expansion of our airfreight products. These new appointments for Chris and Shawn support the needs of our customers and airline partners, the growth of our volumes, and the new business we are gaining,” he stated. “Airfreight is one of our fastest-growing products,

AGI appoints Olivier Bijaoui to help drive its expansion plans in Europe

Alliance Ground International (AGI) has reached an agreement with Olivier Bijaoui to act as Advisor to help with the next phase of its expansion strategy to add passenger and cargo ground handling operations outside North America.

Bijaoui has been a prominent figure in the ground handing industry for 35 years and brings great knowledge and experience to AGI’s already well established senior management team.

“This is an exciting development for us to fulfil our desire to expand our service offerings beyond North America,” said Jared Azcuy, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), AGI.

“Olivier’s expansive experience in the international airport services market will be invaluable to our growth trajectory.”

AGI, dubbed “The Cargo People” (TM pending), is one of the largest cargo and freighter ground handlers in North America.

“AGI’s investment and growth in North America has been very impressive and I look forward to help mirror its success in Europe and beyond,” said Bijaoui.

Over the previous ten months, AGI has announced the acquisitions of North American ground handling companies Airport Terminal Services (ATS), Total Airport Services (TAS), and MIC Cargo (Maestro), as well as significant investments in personnel, technology, and new facilities at Chicago and Newark airports.

DHL Express announces new leadership for Australian business

DHL Express, the world’s leading international express service provider has announced the retirement of Gary Edstein, CEO and Senior Vice President for Australia and Papua New Guinea at the end of 2022. Phil Corcoran, currently Vice President Commercial Australia will assume the role of Managing Director, Australia and Papua New Guinea, effective 1 January 2023 and will report to Ken Lee, CEO Asia Pacific, DHL Express.

“Gary has dedicated his career to DHL and he has been instrumental in positioning DHL Express as a market leader in Oceania. He has increased our market share and revenue, built the partner network and laid a solid foundation for future growth.

I am excited to see Phil Corcoran taking over the mantle. I am very confident that he will continue to build on the success with the support of a very knowledgeable leadership team in the region,” said Ken Lee, CEO, APAC, DHL Express.

Edstein’s retirement follows 36 years of service, of which 20 years were spent most recently leading the Oceania, Australia and Papua New Guinea regions. His career with DHL began in 1986 as Sales Manager, before going on to lead as Country Manager for the New Zealand and Pacific Islands business (1993), Australia business (1998), and a stint overseas as Director Express for Logistics Japan (2000) and Project Director, Asia Pacific Logistics Optimization (2002). Under his strategic leadership, the company is now the market leader of the Time Definite International industry, growing its presence as a B2C brand. In 2021, DHL Express Australia was named the 2nd best workplace in Australia by Great Place to Work, and the company’s employee engagement studies have consistently recorded scores over 90%.

With 26 years of experience with DHL Express, Corcoran’s appointment strengthens the business’s position with in-depth market knowledge and experience. Starting his DHL career in Australia in 1996, he has held various commercial and management positions across the Oceania region, including General Manager for Fiji and the Pacific Islands (2002), National Sales Manager New Zealand (2005), and since 2012, Vice President Commercial Australia.

“As the Vice President Commercial Australia, Phil has led the commercial development of our business with a high-performing team, delivering consistent double-digit growth through unpredictable economic conditions. His customer-centric focus and advocacy for our culture of respect and results place us in a strong position going forward,” Gary Edstein, CEO and Senior Vice President, DHL Express Australia and Papua New Guinea said.

With the Australian arm of the business established in 1972, this year marks the company’s 50th year of operations in the country.

NAP welcomes IAG Cargo to support its growing business

Neutral Air Partner (NAP) has welcomed IAG Cargo, the cargo division of International Airlines Group (IAG) as an airline partner with an aim to support its members grow their business and further develop co-operation in all areas relevant to the air cargo logistics sector.

The partnership will see IAG Cargo and NAP work together jointly in various initiatives to support small and medium sized forwarders. IAG Cargo operates across in key strategic markets including Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa, and the Americas.

“SME Forwarders and consolidators represent over 45 % of the global airfreight volumes and our network is comprised of leading and independent air cargo sales agents and consolidators worldwide. Through our NAP Global Airline Partner Program, we aim to significantly increase our cargo volumes to IAG Cargo, and to access cargo capacity on key trade lanes.

“We are confident that working together with partners like IAG cargo will drive direct value to our global customer base”, said Christos Spyrou NAP CEO.

Darren Peak, Head of Sales, at IAG Cargo added: “Small businesses are a core part of the supply chain, and an important part of our business. They play a vital role in our communities and I am delighted that we are partnering with NAP to provide support to the wider SME market.

“We’re proud to partner with organizations like NAP to enable SME businesses to gain access to our extensive network, industry knowledge and specialized products, as well as our loyalty program – FORWARD.REWARDS.”

NAP will present their objectives during the NAP 6th AGM and conference, which will take place at the Ritz Carlton Bali Indonesia on 19-23 September 2022. At the event IAG Cargo will be giving a key note speech.

PML appoints Iain Bruce as finance director

Perishables forwarder PML has appointed Iain Bruce as the company’s new finance director.

Bruce joins the business following a career that features a range of senior financial positions within various prestigious high profile operations including McLaren, Johnson & Johnson and PepsiCo. A law graduate and chartered accountant, although not from a traditional logistics background, Bruce has prior direct experience of the day-to-day challenges of a major distribution center having previously worked at PepsiCo’s Southern Distribution Centre.

Commenting on his new position, he says: “PML represents a really exciting proposition. The business has not only ridden out the challenges associated with Covid and Brexit, but has thrived under the entrepreneurial vision of the current senior management team.”

Kai Lincoln joins SEKO Logistics as VP of sustainability

SEKO Logistics has named Kai Lincoln as its first global VP of Sustainability, taking a major step forward in its ongoing drive and commitment to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG). Particularly, in 2022, SEKO will be declaring an ambitious goal to have all their owned and controlled facilities and activities, including road linehaul and parcel final mile, be carbon neutral by 2050. In his new position, Lincoln will oversee all efforts in support of this goal.

Based in Sydney, Australia, Lincoln joined SEKO in January 2014 as managing director of SEKO Omni-Channel Logistics, where he spearheaded the growth and development of SEKO’s international ecommerce capabilities for brands, while also introducing their first sustainable packaging options for brands looking to reduce their carbon footprint within ecommerce.

As part of his work directing ESG efforts for the global company, Lincoln will call upon the expertise of SEKO’s newly formed ESG committee and regional business leads in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia and New Zealand. To date, this group developed SEKO’s sustainability roadmap, which contains set milestones and timelines with key targets in the coming years.  

“Our clients want to work with responsible partners who do more than talk about making a difference – partners that actually show progress against their commitment to ESG. In fact, we see sustainability as a growth generator. It will take strong focused leadership, which Kai has repeatedly demonstrated over the past six years, to achieve success, but creating a more sustainable global supply chain is a non-negotiable,” said James Gagne, president and CEO, SEKO Logistics. “This is going to be the ‘reality check’ for future client relationships. While we do not have all the answers yet, we are taking steps forward with tangible goals, and we have the ambition and determination to achieve them.”

SEKO has been taking progressive steps to accelerate their sustainability commitment since completing their first “Green Audit’ a decade ago. SEKO’s sustainable procurement policy works to build partnerships with like-minded airlines, shipping lines and road freight vendors. It also provides clients with carbon calculator tools to improve the visibility of shipping impact and increase carbon offsets.

In addition, five SEKO facilities in North America and Europe are now operationally equipped to capture and use solar energy. Plus, across their facilities worldwide, SEKO is now measuring energy and emission impacts to help identify operational areas for reduction.

SEKO has also joined industry-led initiatives such as the Sustainable Air Freight Alliance (SAFA) to learn and contribute within its partner community, and sourced home compostable ecommerce packaging which breaks down in less than 180 days into completely non-toxic elements. In 2022, SEKO also introduced sustainability training internally for its more than 2,000 employees.

Lincoln noted that logisticians must become actively involved to reform the industry and reduce their direct and indirect use of fossil fuels.

“Better utilization of supply chain capacity, working with ‘greener’ vendors, utilizing home compostable packaging, implementing energy saving solutions within facilities, and driving growth in ecommerce are all practical steps to begin reducing the logistics industry’s carbon footprint,” said Lincoln.

“This isn’t an overnight journey, but one that will require sustained commitment beginning with myself, our executive team and every employee at SEKO, to ensure that we see continued material improvement over the short, medium and long-term. I am excited and grateful to be given this opportunity to redirect my efforts, knowledge and passion toward the changes that absolutely need to happen.”

Jake Fisher joins AfA Board of Directors

Rock-it Global has signaled its close support for the Airforwarders Association (AfA) by maintaining a leading presence on its Board of Directors following Sasha Goodman’s term, which expires at the end of 2022.

Although unrelated to Goodman’s departure, Jacob (Jake) Fisher, vice president and general counsel to AfA Platinum member Rock-It Global, will join the AfA Board, effective immediately.

“Jake brings a wealth of industry experience and legal expertise to the AfA board,” said Kirk McCann, AfA chairman of the board, and executive director of North American development, Scan Global Logistics.

“Please join the board of directors and me in congratulating Jake on this prestigious appointment. We look forward to working with him in advancing the agenda for AfA.”

Longstanding and esteemed member of the AfA board Sasha Goodman, chief administration officer, Rock-It Global, will remain an active AfA member continuing on the planning committee for the AfA AirCargo Conference, at which she will take a leadership role in the women’s networking event.

“Sasha has done a tremendous job not only representing our company but also advocating for women in our industry,” said Paul Martins, CEO, Global Critical Logistics, the parent company of Rock-it Global, Dietl International, Dynamic International, Cosdel, and CargoLive. “It is fantastic that our company will continue to be well represented on the AfA Board by Jake Fisher. Thank you again Sasha and congratulations, Jake!”

Fisher was elected to fill an interim slot created by the departure of Brendan Akamu, who recently accepted a position with Hawaiian Airlines.

Airline members are not eligible to hold a seat on AfA’s board.

Akamu’s former seat term expires this Fall, at which time Fisher will be required to run for re-election for a four-year term.

time:matters Singapore Ltd. names Jon Norvald Haugen new MD

New arrival at time:matters Singapore Ltd.: Jon Norvald Haugen has been named Managing Director for the expert in high-performance and special speed logistics effective July. In this role, the 38-year-old will be responsible for the target markets of Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia and South Asia. Jon Norvald Haugen succeeds Wolf-Dieter Schwarz, who has successfully led time:matters Singapore Ltd. (founded in 2008) since 2013, in the role of Managing Director since 2018. Following 45 years in the logistics industry, Wolf-Dieter Schwarz is taking a well-earned retirement.

Jon Norvald Haugen, a native of Norway, has had a successful track record in the air freight sector for more than a decade. Prior to his new position as Managing Director of time:matters Singapore Ltd., he held various management roles within Lufthansa Cargo. These included Country Manager Norway and, since 2018, Director Sales and Handling Middle East, based in Dubai. His appointment as Managing Director marks another milestone in time:matters’ growth strategy in the Asia-Pacific region. In recent months, the company has already established local network management and invested in both sales and customer service.

The time:matters customer service team for the region, based in Bangkok under strategic partner Lufthansa Services (Thailand) Ltd., looks after all steps along the transport chain. These include shipment pick-up, delivery and customs clearance at the customer’s request. In this way, the team ensures maximum control over the entire transport process.

Alexander Kohnen, CEO of time:matters, stated: “Together with Jon Norvald Haugen and his team, we want to continuously develop high-growth markets in Asia in the future as well and further expand our broad range of transport services in the Asia-Pacific region and intercontinentally. This will allow us to meet the specific requirements and needs of our global customer base for fast and highly efficient transport solutions.” He further emphasized: “We would like to thank Wolf-Dieter Schwarz for his enormously successful work on behalf of our company over more than 15 years and wish him all the best with his future projects.”

Customers of time:matters Singapore Ltd. include global players from the automotive, aviation and aerospace, hightech and semicon, life and health, medtech, machinery and component, and logistics sectors. With its comprehensive range of services, time:matters Singapore Ltd. is in a position to offer transport solutions for time-critical and sensitive shipments that are tailored to each customer’s individual needs. Its portfolio of services ranges from the provision of advice and execution of bookings, including the issuance of air waybills, through to local invoicing.

Hermes expands its leadership team

Hermes Logistics Technologies (HLT) has appointed Helen Arrowsmith as Senior Project Manager and Abhijeet Misra as Service Delivery Manager, to strengthen its senior leadership team as part of an ambitious growth strategy.

With these appointments, HLT is fulfilling its objective to further enhance the team with a balance of IT domain expertise paired with extensive air cargo industry experience.

Joining the UK office to head up the project management team, Helen Arrowsmith brings an extensive background in the IT sector in business operations and project management roles, including 13 years at Cisco, managing diverse projects, events, and product launches.

“I have always had an interest in the airline industry and since Covid this industry has seen many changes,” said Arrowsmith.

“I am excited to have joined the team at Hermes Logistics Technologies and look forward to driving projects to deliver the Hermes solution to our customers.”

Abhijeet Misra joins as the new head of service delivery, responsible for managing HLT’s New Delhi office.

Misra brings 17 years’ experience in the IT service industry to the position, having spent the previous three years in service delivery and operations as Senior Delivery Manager at Orange Business Services.

In his previous role, Misra was accountable for complete Cloud Infrastructure Services for clients, focused on client satisfaction as well as managing projects and the implementation team, resolving reliability and capacity issues, release management, and tracking service metrics.

“I am learning from the best in the logistics industry, gaining an understanding of this complex and valuable industry, and have been enjoying expanding my knowledge,” said Misra.

“What brought me to the cargo world is its fast growth and I anticipate that this sector will continue to grow in the coming years.”

Working with the Product and Technical teams, Misra will be looking at HLT helpdesk processes, Services Level Agreements, and documented procedures to allow HLT to support customers in a structured, seamless way.

HLT continues to drive the expansion of its global workforce and has significantly increased the size of its team in the last five years across its offices in the UK, Israel, and India, in line with its strategy for international growth.

Aloha Air Cargo appoints Medina as director of safety

Hawaiian Islands-based Aloha Air Cargo has appointed Randy Medina as director of safety.

Medina previously worked as a quality assurance auditor with the airline from August 2010 until June 2014, and again from June 2019 – continuing alongside his present role.

In the past he has also worked in operations roles for Hawaiian Airlines and Island Air.

Aloha Air Cargo operates a Boeing 767 and Boeing 737 fleet to ship time-sensitive products safely into and throughout the Hawaiian Islands.

With regular flights six days a week, Aloha services major airport destinations within the State of Hawaii, including Honolulu, Kahului, Lihue, Hilo, and Kona, as well as locations in Los Angeles and Seattle.

Aloha Air Cargo is part of the Northern Aviation Services, LLC Family of Companies