Jackson Hammonds, Regional Key Account Manager at IAG Cargo in Atlanta, has jumped feet first into a challenging role with big responsibilities since joining the company in June 2022. Find out what he loves about logistics, his plans for IAG Cargo, plus his insights on the newer generation of airfreight professionals.
What does your role involve?
I manage several global key accounts at head-office level for their US operation. I oversee maintaining and building the relationships we already have established with these partners.
Is there anything that surprised you in your new role?
The people I’ve met have been incredible, not just because of their wealth of knowledge, but also how personable they’ve been. I was a little nervous before starting this job, but everyone’s been so helpful. I also love to travel. I was fortunate enough to go to London recently and see our HQ, which was incredible. Getting to travel across the US has been very enjoyable as well.
How did you get into your current role?
When I was in college, I had a part-time job as a warehouse worker. I would see new products come in all the time and it sparked my interest. I wanted to know what happened behind the scenes – how did we move everything? I quickly fell in love with the industry.
I did a logistics minor then worked at a logistics company, managing their freight and arranging carriers to transport the freight. I then moved onto another company to work as a logistics coordinator for about two years. Then I came across my current job. It was another avenue and challenge that I was eager to explore.
What changes are happening at university level regarding supply chain logistics?
When I started as a freshman, there wasn’t a supply chain and logistics programme. Luckily, when I got to junior year, it started up as a minor course. I was one of the first people who did the course. Small class sizes helped us get to know our professors on a first-name basis, which was great. Even over those two years it picked up, so I imagine it has grown even more now.
How do you think the air cargo industry has changed over the years?
If you strip it back, it’s moving products from A to B, so that hasn’t changed. But our tech has become a lot more advanced, and everyone is more connected now. Personally, I don’t think there are that many differences between the professionals. My mentor has been in the industry a long time, and he’s taught me so much in just three months.
Why do you think there has been an increase in the popularity of logistics?
If logistics is working smoothly, then you won’t hear about it. Because of Covid, there has been loads of disruptions, and it has gained a lot of attention. Now, lots of people who otherwise wouldn’t have known anything about the industry, have suddenly discovered it. I’m sure it has inspired a whole new generation of people to pursue a career in logistics.
How do you maintain strong relationships with customers?
As I run a limited number of our accounts, however large corporate accounts at that, I am able to focus on maintaining our already very strong partnerships while also gaining as much revenue for both of us as possible. To do this, partners would like to see constant communication from our side. I’ve also had the chance to get out and shake their hands, which has been very beneficial in the early stages of our relationship. This would have been a drastically different job if the world was still in lockdown. It’s all about communication and trust.
What do you think are IAG Cargo’s biggest strengths as cargo transporters?
Trust is very important. Our customers are putting their freight in our hands, and we must make sure we deliver it in good time and safely. A key thing in delivering excellent service is to ensure we’re very communicative. And we make sure whoever asked the question is assured that we’re here, we’re listening, and we will get it sorted.
What excites you most about the logistics and air cargo industry?
My previous two jobs were solely focused on US trends. I’d try and follow along with world news, but it didn’t impact me as much. Whereas now, I have to stay ahead because of our global outreach. As the industry is always changing, there is so much that goes on. Being proactive is very important in this industry, and I’ve already seen that skill be exhibited in my colleagues. I am very passionate about this new role and excited for what’s to come!