Based out of Ontario, Canada, CARGOJET is a scheduled cargo airline currently operating two weekly flights between Hamilton and Halifax, Canada and Cologne, Germany. In February2021, the airline announced a fleet expansion which will consist of bringing in five B767 freighters, three of which will be deployed on international routes in 2022, with the rest two scheduled to arrive in 2023. The first two freighters are planned to be deployed on long-haul Asian routes and emerging South Asian markets strategically integrated with CARGOJET’s domestic network, and in addition, they will serve selected European and south-central and North American cities. Vito Cerone, the company’s newly appointed Senior Vice President– International in a recent interaction with Ritika Arora Bhola talked elaborately on the global best techniques and strategies they are planning to bring into their operations for efficiency in business and network enhancement and notes that the airline’s key focus is presently on moving forward and to make air logistics easy for its customers. The cargo airline is also focussing on working collaboratively with its key industry partners and investing in innovations, digital platforms and processes that will make movement of freight and data easy and transparent to follow.
CARGOJET is a scheduled cargo airline based in Ontario, Canada. Could you kindly take us through your operations and current market positioning across the global air cargo sector, and/or any new developments?
CARGOJET currently operates two weekly flights between Hamilton, Halifax Canada and Cologne, Germany.
Our focus till recently was primarily the overnight Canadian domestic freighter network with service to 16 cities, whereas our international focus was primary on ACMI and charters agreements.
In February this year, we announced a fleet expansion that will see the infusion of five B767 freighters, three of which will be deployed on our international routes to select strategic destinations to capture emerging growth opportunities.
The first two will be deployed on “long-haul Asian routes and emerging South Asian markets strategically integrated with CARGOJET’s domestic network”. In addition, they will serve selected European and south-central and North American cities.
The other two B777 freighters will be arriving in 2023, with CARGOJET having the option to add two more in 2024. These aircrafts will provide additional, flexible capacity in order to respond to fluctuating global market demands.
Could you reveal more on the variety of cargo transported/cargo handled/destinations covered, etc.?
Basically, CARGOJET serves three key market segments– Canadian domestic network, ACMI, and ad-hoc charters.
We are the only national network that enables next day service for courier or e-commerce industries to the Canadian marketplace, serving 16 major cities.
We offer main deck capacity, courier, e-commerce, pharma, perishables, automotive, live animals, oil & gas equipment and mail.
With your experience in aviation of over three decades, how has the journey been so far? How do you plan to enrich CARGOJET’s journey from here on after joining the airline this year in September?
CARGOJET’s success is based on its operational excellence and courier express mentality. I want to seize on these successes and bring those to our global customers and network. Our biggest asset is our team and we continue using their experience to remain an air logistics service provider that is agile, nimble and higly customer centric.
Any global best technique or strategy you are planning to bring into the company’s operations for further efficiency in service sales and network growth?
One of our key focus, moving forward, will be to make air logistics easy for our people and customers. Working collaboratively with our key industry partners (airports, GHAs, GSSAs, ULD Mgt, govts., etc.) we will invest in innovations, digital platforms and processes that will make movement of freight and data easy and transparent to follow.
We have to be quick and agile to respond to changes in the marketplace, so we can properly schedule the right capacity. Such a success will come through the proper usage and interpretation of data.
More importantly, our focus should be to build strong customer relationships that mutually benefit everyone through trust, honesty, and sound economics.
How do you see efficient logistics operations and excellent customer service being achieved while keeping in mind competitive pricing, safety, and quality of products?
I strongly believe that as a company we should always ask ourselves what are our weaknesses and how can we improve to make us better. I strongly believe that continuous improvement is the key for long-term success.
The fundamental differentiation at CARGOJET is our team’s courier express way of doing business and the entrepreneurial mindset that allows them to focus on customer centricity.
To what extent did your operations remained unhindered all throughout 2020 although the pandemic continued to evolve and took over every global market?
The COVID-19 pandemic has generally increased the demand for domestic and international air cargo services due to the dramatic increase in e-commerce demand, the needs for PPE products and the reduction of passenger aircraft operating on international routes. CARGOJET continued to operate all of its aircraft on domestic and international routes and has seen a significant surge in charter and ACMI activity.
The pandemic has increased the demand for CARGOJET’s services on its international business, specifically to Asia, where we supported the transport of PPE products for the federal and various provincial governments in Canada.
That said, were there efforts taken to reevaluate and restructure network strategy for better positioning?
We are a young 20-year-old company that has set its path towards global expansion and growth. We will achieve this by continuing to focus on our people, working collaboratively with our industry partners, acquiring 767 and 777 freighters and expanding our global reach.
At the moment, how are you meeting the demand for delivering critical vaccinations around the world with speed, safety and efficiency?
In 2020 and 2021, our aircraft utilisation was at the highest level in our 20 year history. We worked closely with the freight forwarding community and various international government bodies to transport critical medical products whether in Canada, USA or Caribbean. As such, our ACMI and Charters operations increased significantly.
Any inputs on the Indian market in terms of your current market growth or future network expansion opportunities?
We currently do not operate into India, but it is one of the key markets that we are looking to enter in the near-term. It will be a cornerstone of our global growth.
At present, what are the key emerging trends in air cargo sector globally according to you and what are the areas which need immediate attention?
Several key trends will transform our industry in the next few years and those that need immediate attention are:
- As an industry, digital transformation is paramount in order to enhance end-to-end customer experience and more importantly make it easier for the movement and tracking of goods.
- The service levels for the movement of e-commerce products have set the bar for the service levels in the movement of general cargo but those should be further expedited for application across cargo categories.
Data usage and interpretation of data which will help assign useful meaning to the data and arrive at relevant conclusion.