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   Vol. 16 No. 54
Thursday June 15, 2017

Gisela Imagines Beyond Air Cargo
Gisela Schork

     Amid all the pretzels, beer, big booth stands, and hopes and dreams of our every expanding industry at last month’s Air Cargo Europe, thoughts often drifted a bit wider as we said, “Hello, Germany.”
      We were there in the thousands, acting local behind heaping plates of that particular May German delicacy, white asparagus (spargel). Between mouthfuls we thought global, wondering whether spargel could be a moveable feast, and if so how could we get this wonderful and special vegetable out to the rest of the world?
      No doubt.

Imagining The Possibilities

      Which brings us to Gisela Schork, Regional Manager, Cargo Sales – Germany and Switzerland for American Airlines Cargo.
      This lady has seen both sides of the shipping equation—as a forwarder and an airline.
      “My sister,” Gisela told FlyingTypers, “used to work for a forwarding agent at Frankfurt and at the age of 16, I took an opportunity to work there as a trainee for a couple of weeks.
      “I was attracted by the international, multilingual, and time-sensitive environment, which seemed very appealing.
      “I came to the conclusion that I wanted to work in the industry, too, and started my cargo career as an apprentice with a U.S. forwarder.”
      “I strongly recommend a career in air cargo as globalization and international trade is an education unto itself, adding perspective about the world we live in.”

Gisela Gets It

      “For me starting in forwarding like I did and moving into air cargo offers experience on both sides of the fence.
      “I can look at a forwarder partner and say ‘I get it’ when shipping issues are discussed, so ongoing understanding of our major customers’ requirements drives everything we do here at AA Cargo Germany,” Gisela declared.

The Importance Of Frankfurt

      “First, last, and always,” Gisela assures, “Frankfurt (FRA) is a very important station for us and our gateway into Germany.
      “We’re strongly committed to growing our business in Germany and will continue utilizing our FRA lanes for the transport of high-demand commodities, such as automotive parts and pharmaceuticals.
      ‘The good news is that our team recently moved to a larger facility to accommodate the growing business, but no other plans are in the works.”

Trade Lane Booming

      “All of our Frankfurt-U.S. services to Charlotte (CLT), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), and PHL are comparably sized.
      “They each offer great opportunities to serve very different, diverse, and large markets throughout the United States and even into Latin America with our extensive widebody network there.
      “As a result of having direct, same-day connecting flights via DFW to Santiago (SCL), Buenos Aires (EZE), and Sao Paulo (GRU), we were able to constantly grow our market share in 2016.
      “Now, these South American destinations are key destinations for us.”

The Plus Benefit At FRA

      “Recently (as mentioned at the top), we’ve benefited from WPS’s acquisition of Fraport.
      “Now AA Cargo benefits from positioning our air cargo operations via a much bigger, newer facility with cooler capabilities, dedicated high valuable cargo area, and a far more fluid process in receiving shipments.
      “Today American Airlines Cargo’s transfer facility at FRA saves time and money by streamlining the process to and from aircraft.”

Best In Show

      “We moved in 2016 and I believe we are now delivering the best customer service in the market.
      “Our enhanced cargo operations in Frankfurt have been a really great, very positive change for us.”

Too Cool For School

      “Germany,” Gisela Schork said, “is traditionally a very strong pharma market, where a sophisticated customer base is looking for a seamless supply chain for their products.
      “AA Cargo has put into operation enhanced cooler facilities at PHL, DFA, SJU, and elsewhere in the U.S. that are key to our service offering and all are potentially interesting to German customers.
      “We are already seeing the benefits in terms of new business and increased shipments.
      “Pharmaceuticals are the main products that require temperature control from the German market, and as we leverage our brilliant network and enhanced capabilities with the traditional can-do attitude at AA Cargo we are finding more and more service partners ready to get it on American Cargo,” Gisela said.

Why American Cargo?

      “Everybody from the ground up and especially our dedicated customer service team is always reachable, and we benefit from a very close relationship with stakeholders in the forwarding industry.
      “The other key factor would be the reliable service offered across the entire American network, which is one of the most important things to our customers.”

Who Loves German Cargo?

      “My team,” Gisela smiles, “is not only focused on Frankfurt, but all other German airports, too.
      “Our German operation may be headquartered at FRA, but we now conduct frequent sales calls with forwarders in Hamburg, Hannover, Düsseldorf, Berlin, Cologne, Munich, Stuttgart, and Nürnberg.
      “I am a firm believer in showing our faces in front of all our customers on a regular basis.
      “To be personally known is still a really positive asset in our increasingly computerized environment.” 

Better Air Cargo

      “We are now customizing certain products to better meet (and exceed) our customers’ expectations.
      “That means we are more in tune with our service partners’ needs and can better service their requirements.
      “We know getting things right all around is an ongoing effort that involves both airline and customers.”

The Agent's Creed

      “As we do not approach shippers with direct sales activities, the forwarders are still, and will continue to be, the prime customers/partners for us,” Gisela Schork insists.
      “We value our partnerships with them and their customers, the shippers. “Collaboration between all three is increasingly important, but each party still has a well-defined role to play.
      “As an airline, service reliability combined with excellent customer service is essential to keep these partnerships alive and that’s where we focus.”

Last Words

      “We should never forget that air cargo is still a people business.
      “Personal relationships with the forwarders—regularly meeting them in person and talking to them directly—cannot be underestimated.
      “I am a great believer that there is no substitute for the hands-on approach,” Gisela Schork said.

Publisher-Geoffrey Arend • Managing Editor-Flossie Arend •
Film Editor-Ralph Arend • Special Assignments-Sabiha Arend, Emily Arend • Advertising Sales-Judy Miller

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