How to ensure an urgent shipment flies

In March 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the eastern coast of Japan. The resulting tsunami triggered a major humanitarian crisis and led to the Fukushima nuclear power incident. It also unravelled the global supply chain operations of businesses from a range of sectors that relied on vital parts from Japan.

Notable example included the automotive and technology industries, affecting business such as General Motors and Apple. The event highlighted the enmeshed nature of global supply chains and how crippling a disruption can be.

The scale of a disaster like this is rare but the challenge of overworked time-sensitive operations is faced by businesses constantly – how do we keep the supply chains running if something goes wrong, and our solution is thousands of miles away?

IAG Cargo’s answer is its Critical product, launched in September 2016. This high priority, non-offloadable service has transported over 5,500 shipments to around 100 locations in that time, with the rise of services like Amazon Prime underscoring our expectations to have products as soon as we purchase them.

For urgent shipments in the automotive sector, the use of airfreight to move parts is also significant with one fifth of all Critical consignments coming from the industry.

In the case of a manufacturing crisis like a parts recall, the reactivity that a service like Critical provides can get manufacturing back on track quickly, saving automotive companies money, time and productivity.

This kind of service can only work well when a dedicated team is there to monitor shipments at every step of the journey. The new Critical Service Centre at Heathrow is staffed by a dedicated seven-days-a-week service team, designed to mirror our customers’ emergency teams so the two can work together seamlessly.

The team provides live shipment monitoring and is on hand to smooth out any issues during your shipment’s journey – to find out more about how Critical can help you, contact