Catching up with Customers- Insights from Air Global

There’s movement in the skies over China as the country with the world’s biggest e-commerce market emerges from its zero-COVID policy. On the occasion of Lunar New Year 2023, we bring to you a special interview with Mr Manfield, owner of Air Global. 

How was the Q4 period for Air Global in 2022?

Here in China, the shattering effects of COVID-19 are still with us. We’re building ourselves back up from the interrupted flow of raw materials and labour supply. It’s been a double-hit with rising inflation in Europe by around 10 per cent and around six per cent in the United States – there’s been a decrease in demand. But we’re slowly returning to normal and hope that, with time, the market will re-balance, allowing us to spring back to beating yearly averages again and again.

What were the biggest challenges Air Global faced during the pandemic?

Definitely going from the buzz of working within close proximity of each other to suddenly doing everything in solitude from home. We’re in an industry that thrives on face-to-face communication and adapting to doing everything remotely was difficult. Despite these hurdles, it was fantastic seeing every member of staff successfully learn the new normal and liaise online. There’s no denying that the restrictions took their toll on our previously smooth working cargo movement too. When the cross-border quota limitation and strict inspections were brought in, over half of our general cargo had to take to the seas to get to Hong Kong International Airport.

Could you tell us about some of the key objectives at Air Global?

Before COVID-19, we were one of the few air cargo carriers to accept e-commerce in Hong Kong in the belly capacity of IAG Cargo’s sister airlines. Since then, we’ve also nurtured our relationships with smaller e-commerce logistics companies and have helped them grow. So, our goals this year are to keep offering a seamless service to our existing customers and retain high volumes of e-commerce movements – as China’s e-commerce market is growing astoundingly fast, with an annual growth rate of 22 per cent.

Why is your relationship with IAG Cargo so important?

After working with IAG Cargo for many years, we’ve built a strong and invaluable relationship along the way. It works particularly well for us as our target customers are in the Big Smoke – as is IAG Cargo’s main hub. Their extensive network beyond the UK to places like LATAM and the US fits perfectly with our business needs. On top of those things, we massively value the stable, reliable and rapid service from them, which helps to keep things on our end running as smoothly as possible.

How did you find your visit to IAG Cargo at London Heathrow last summer?

It was a delight getting to meet some of the commercial and customer service teams in person after a long time of speaking through screens. After returning to Hong Kong, we had a sense of ease from seeing how advanced and modern their cargo warehouse was during our tour. To have another opportunity in the future to learn more about the handling process once the cargo arrives at Heathrow would be fantastic. I also hope that next time we can meet even more of the head office colleagues.

Air Global moves a lot of cargo via IAG Cargo’s Prioritise service. How does this benefit your customers?

IAG Cargo’s express solution is often our go-to, as with the high on-board priority, we can always secure a space on an aircraft. Also, customers value reliability, quality and speed, and those are what Prioritise delivers – recent statistics show that 84 per cent of online shoppers fret about late deliveries.

How does being a member of IAG Cargo’s loyalty programme, FORWARD.REWARDS, benefit you as a customer?

It’s been over a year since we signed up to FORWARD.REWARDS, and we’ve earned plenty of points over that time doing business with IAG Cargo. So far, we’ve saved around $2,000 US dollars. Usually, we spend the points on passenger travel and hotel vouchers.

We would like to wish our Customers, Partners and Teams a very Happy and Prosperous New Year of the Rabbit.