Recently finished uni and looking for the next step? Rob Hurley, who is currently on IAG Cargo’s Graduate Scheme, gives us the inside track on the unsung industry, with its possibilities of international travel, exposure to cutting-edge tech and genuine job satisfaction
Expert insight to global business and politics
Logistics is connected to the economy, climate and politics, so when these affect trade, they affect the cargo sector. A tariff, for instance, introduced by a region could reduce flows into and out of that area, so how do we react? If the weather is unusually warm in Peru and the cherry season is extended, how does this affect our capacities? Being aware of current affairs becomes more of a requirement when you’re considering how it will impact your day to day.
Growth is constant
Investment is being pumped into air cargo from all sides. With the rise of e-commerce giants like Amazon, the urgency for goods on demand has grown to the extent that new routes are being added to meet the requirement. For example, the huge popularity for fidget spinners in 2016 resulted in millions of spinners flying out of Asia Pacific, where they’re manufactured, to western Europe. Who knew that something so obscure could cause such a spike in demand! Logistics is here to stay, so launching a career in the sector is likely to be a reliable investment.
You’ll get insider access to new tech
Start-ups are finding new ways to disrupt and improve the industry, and cargo carriers are investing heavily in this innovation, be it autonomous technology, data visualisation, AI or AR. IAG – the holding company of airlines like British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Vueling and Level – operates an accelerator programme called Hangar 51 that mentors start-ups whose technology is aimed at improving the aviation and logistics sectors, and those that align best with the group’s goals are offered investment. The innovations and operations team usually get first-hand contact with these new technologies – check out some of the amazing advancements being developed as part of the Hangar 51 programme.
The world wouldn’t function without logistics
You might not realise it, but the work you do transforms people’s lives. Cargo carriers fly life-saving vaccines, like tetanus and polio, to parts of the world that need them most. Without airlines’ temperature-controlled services, the fresh fruit and veg that we all enjoy wouldn’t get to our supermarkets. If you’re moving overseas and need to transport your pet, cargo carriers and freight agents will manage that for you. Logistics companies move everything from baby rhinos and Formula 1 cars, to fashion and priceless artwork.
No two days are the same
The work is constantly evolving, with new challenges and problems to solve each day. Will snow disrupt flights departing from eastern Europe? Will there be a rather inconvenient Icelandic ash cloud? Will the UK’s runway capacity affect trade? All of these are variables, unknown and sure to affect the business.
The perks of travel
Opportunities for travel are huge in logistics, with partners and training facilities located across the planet, and the potential to work in far-flung destinations ever increasing. As well as duty travel, many carriers offer staff travel discounts, where employees and a number of companions can purchase “standby” tickets on flights – if there are surplus seats on-board, you can buy one for a fraction of the retail cost.
There’s something for everyone
Working in logistics doesn’t have to mean you’re involved in the supply chain. There are a variety of departments, from innovation and marketing, to distribution and digital ventures. It’s not all about wearing hi- vis and steal capped boots, it’s much, much more.
Applications for IAG Cargo’s Logistics Graduate Scheme close November 26th.
Find out more and apply here.