New sales muscle down south USA


Finnair is connected to the southern US states by more than just three weekly flights to Miami. HAE Group is the Finnish national carrier’s energetic new ‘marriage broker’ on the cargo markets of Georgia, Florida, and Texas.

If the relationship between an airline and its cargo customers is a lot like a marriage, then the GSA, or global sales agent, is the ‘Cupid’ who brings them together. 

As of October 1, 2015, Finnair’s new go-between to the lucrative markets of the southern USA is HAE Group, which represents Finnair Cargo in Florida, Georgia, and Texas.

The new partnership comes on the back of a successful working relationship in the UK and Ireland, where HAE Group has represented Finnair for a number of years, reiterating the professionalism of the Finnair Cargo team. 

“We have already had the pleasure to communicate with Finnair Cargo in the past. The entire team has shown commitment to treating HAE as a key commercial partner,” says Charlie Storcks, HAE Vice President for the Americas.

What after Obama? 

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, HAE Group currently has nine offices in the US employing a combined personnel of 40. HAE will represent Finnair for cargo shipped to and from Atlanta, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, Dallas, and Houston.

The items Finnair will ship to and from the southern US states are likely to vary as widely as their origins in the USA and their destinations worldwide, predicts Storcks. 

“Within our current portfolio, we see oil and gas equipment, perishables, diplomatic cargo, and of course your basic general consolidation cargo.”

When asked to forecast what the future might hold for the US air freight market, Storcks confesses to being as much in the dark as everyone else.

“I wish I could predict it. The market seems to change by the month. I would expect to see some changes after the US Presidential election in November next year, especially when it comes to the spending of the US government-related business.”

Geographical chemistry

Storcks reveals that the main challenge on the US air cargo market is overcapacity and pressure on yields, but he sees Finnair as offering an attractive geographical advantage for customers shipping out of the USA.

“The hub in Helsinki is ideally positioned to service destinations in Scandinavia. It also serves Russia and the Baltics faster than most carriers.”

Until September 30, 2015, Finnair Cargo’s sole GSA in the United States was NCS, who will continue representing Finnair in all US states other than Florida, Georgia, and Texas. 

“The Americas are a big territory, so we decided to switch to a two-GSA model for the best possible results. After all, it’s challenging for any GSA to be equally strong in all areas of America. HAE Group are effective in South America, which we hope will support our Miami service,” explains Finnair Cargo's Sales Director Jan Skutnabb.

Charlie Storcks 

• Born and raised on Long Island, New York. Lives and works in Washington DC.

• “I’m a big sports fan and still follow the same NY Teams as when I was growing up. My favorite baseball team, the NY Mets, are in the World Series for the first time in 15 years!  I’m also a certified soccer referee and spend many weekends on soccer fields.”

• Married 29 years; son recently graduated from university and daughter is a college freshman. 

• Insider tip for travelers visiting Washington DC: “There are many famous Civil War grounds, and the Northern Virginia area has a lot of good wineries. If you like nature, the Shenandoah Mountains are beautiful, especially with the leaves changing color this time of the year.”

Text by Silja Kudel

Published October 29, 2015

Category: Local features, Finnair Cargo