GSA: Safeguarding Taiwan’s technological trademark

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Harry Wu’s sales team keeps close watch on the economy to ensure the competitiveness of air cargo carriers.

Although Finnair does not currently fly directly to Taiwan, the country’s status as an exporter of electronics and electronics parts makes it a notable partner for several Finnish businesses. Electronics currently make up 28 per cent of Taiwan’s exports. Finnair Cargo operates in Taipei as an offline carrier, collaborating with China Airlines and EVA Airways as well as a local cargo sales agency, JPK Air. Founded in 1985, the company has worked with Finnair for a decade.
 
Harry Wu has spent his entire career at JPK Air in Taipei, having progressed from sales representative to his current position as general manager. He currently oversees sales teams for Finnair and JPK’s nine other offline carriers. Beyond optimizing cargo space on flights in and out of the region, Wu spends his days keeping up to date on the global economy to make sure that air cargo is serving changing market needs in the best possible way.

"Airlines such as Finnair need to meet market requirements and make gains in a changing business landscape, and we facilitate this process," Wu says.

Meeting economic challenges

Ripples of the uncertain European economy have been felt in Asian economies. Wu admits that the tough economic times have sometimes required an additional push to fill cargo space.

"It’s challenging to maintain competitive rates for air cargo in Taiwan when the amounts of export commodities – smart phones, other high-tech goods and high-quality fabrics and apparel – are lessening," he says. “We need to do more promotion of Taiwanese brands such as Htc and Acer and not just limit ourselves to manufacturing equipment and hardware for other companies.”

He adds, however, that Taiwanese-made electronics still hold an important place in foreign markets and need to move quickly from factories to store shelves. This is why air cargo continues to hold a crucial role to local industries. Direct routes and quick connections can offer carriers a competitive edge.

"Besides making good use of available cargo space, we have to establish even better connections with transit gateways," he says.

Learning by sharing

Wu’s team devotes plenty of time to discussing the latest challenges and drumming up new opportunities for air cargo.

"We share experiences with each other to understand the current business in the best possible way," he says.

During a decade of collaboration, the JPK Air team has built a close-knit relationship with Finnair’s representatives. “It’s very friendly; we are like a family working together to meet challenges,” he says.

According to Wu, Finnair Cargo has established a reliable image in Taiwan.

"Most clients compliment the timely service; due to Finnair’s offline status, some wish that there was even more cargo space during high season," he says. "But customers know that we fulfill Finnair’s promise to keep very close track of the movement of their freight."

Harry WuCity breaks from Taipei

On weekends and holidays, Harry Wu likes to get out of the bustle of Taipei to go hiking with his wife.

"We often go to the hot springs afterwards. Sometimes we spend two hours relaxing in the springs, dipping in the cold water pool and lounging in the chairs by the water," he says. There are hundreds of springs in Taiwan; the closest springs to Taipei are located in Beitou, which is one of the capital city’s districts.

Wu encourages visitors to get tips from locals. "Taiwan is a very friendly place; feel free to talk to us," he says. He also praises the country for its varied landscapes that offer options for travellers: "You can get from Taipei to the seaside in an hour and a half, and to the mountains in the same amount of time."

He recommends that visitors to the coast take a bike ride by the sea. "And in Taipei, try local foods at our night markets," he says.

Text by Laura Palotie

Published December 3, 2012

Category: Finnair Cargo

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