31.10.2017 13:04

True partnership

At Finnair Cargo, we strive to be one of the most preferred partners for air transport between Europe and Northeast Asia. We work on offering a favorable mix of regular cargo flows and ad hoc shipments, general cargo and specialized products, space allotments and free space. We place a great deal of emphasis on quality and reliability, two of our cornerstones for success. 

However, to reach our target we also need to dive deeper into certain goods flows (together) with chosen partners. This means that we need to create a true partnership with all of our stakeholders. One where we work closely with not only our customer, but our customer’s customer and even the end customer. 

The air transportation chain is widely fragmented with many touchpoints: there are the shippers, the forwarding agents, the truckers, the handling agents, the airlines, and the warehouses. To streamline all of this, as well as to minimize handling costs and time, to avoid damages, and to reach maximum space utilization, we need to take into consideration everything that happens during the various handling points up until delivery. 

I recently had the privilege of following the last steps of one of our fish traffic flows to Japan. I have already been fortunate to have followed the beginning steps of the fish journey from farm to factory and onto the packing station. I’ve visited handling agents and I’ve seen freight terminals. It is always rewarding to learn more about this industry and what drives the many stakeholders. What more do our partners need and look for than the obvious “keep cool and fly as booked?” What is required from our end to give our partners the advantage over their competitors? How can we help them reach their goals? This particular visit to Japan lead me to some interesting discoveries. By changing the way that we work at the beginning of the chain, we can effectively speed up and improve the efficiency of the entire chain.  

Often each stakeholder works on gaining as much revenue and offsetting as little costs as possible. A true partnership means looking for the best outcome for all involved – a win-win situation where the result is bigger than the sum of its parts. I liken this to that of a commercial marriage: there needs to be a genuine interest between partners and there needs to be trust, a vision for a bright future, plus a willingness to invest both time and effort in order to reap the long-term benefits.