Keeping Mexican and Regional Supply Chains AliveBy Ricardo Guzman | Tue, 10/06/2020 - 12:16
Q: How are you coping with the COVID-19 pandemic and what has changed in your operations?
A: Our operation during the pandemic has focused on finding and creating new commercial opportunities, and we have used commercial airplanes to move cargo along with passengers. We also incorporated both 737 and 787 fleets for charter services to meet demand. So far, we have moved over 4,000 tons of goods on 430 flights. We are using the passenger cabin, optimizing all possible storage space, including around the seats and the upper compartments, and adding more storage capacity to the regular lower deck used for cargo.
Our goal now is to keep regional supply chains moving not only within Mexico, which is our hub, but in the entire region. By using these flights and reinforcing airlifting operations, we have maintained air connectivity in Latin America between Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Central America and the Caribbean.
As our regular commercial flights are steadily coming back, we still have a significant share of both imports and exports, especially now that the most lucrative part of the trade season is there. Mexico’s high season for avocados is closer, Argentina and Chile’s berries season is also coming. Colombia is a major participant for dry cargo and flowers; Ecuador is also strong on flowers and in Peru, we manage shipments of perishable goods and dry cargo. Airlifting was reinforced during the pandemic but we have a long history of contributing to trade. We have a strong connection with the Southern US and also with European and Asian markets.
Aeromexico Cargo’s collaboration, not just with Mexican governments but with other governments, has been transcendent. We are actively participating in fighting the pandemic and supporting the health contingency plan by providing cargo services.
Q: What are your views regarding industrial recovery in the region?
A: There have been meaningful changes since B2B supply chains were stopped. First, we started moving mostly personal safety gear, then pharma products got into the mix and now the rest of the sectors are resuming operations. Automotive is back and electronic devices as well. It is too early to have a clear view on the final outcome but I believe we are going to see positive results.
Q: What is the secret recipe to successfully overcoming this critical challenge?
A: There is no secret recipe. Aeromexico Cargo has been always consistent in its commitment to providing a quality service. We have been doing this way before the pandemic and are still finding ways to make things better. We believe that cargo transport is vital for supplying every industry and to finally overcome the current situation. Developing close relationships with customers and providing quality service are the only proven recipe.
We have also been flexible during this contingency, which has allowed us to reach destinations we did not think we could reach in the short term. Today, we are moving faster and more efficiently. For example, we recently concluded the longest flight in Mexican aviation history, from Hong Kong to Mexico. All these changes are ongoing and we are making sure that every flight is equally efficient and safe and fully abides by health and hygiene protocols.
Q: How have your plans changed regarding the development of new technologies and digital tools?
A: We believe it is crucial to always allocate funds for investment in technology. Our team has been working on different projects that will make us the most advanced company in terms of efficiency and digitalization of all our warehouses in Mexico. A key approach is to secure better communication with our clients throughout the cargo process, with real-time visibility and better tracking systems. We are constantly assessing how to use new digital tools to reduce time, errors and costs and above all to enhance the customer experience by making sure cargo and goods are delivered on time and in optimal condition.
Q: How do you assess your clients’ needs to develop more focused or customized solutions?
A: We use different models to evaluate client satisfaction and we are constantly assessing our Net Promoter Score (NPS). We can measure in real time both the efficiency of our services and the clients’ perception. Our general approach is based on global trends and specific client requirements.
Our goal right now is to improve our warehouse efficiency and not necessarily increasing our capacity. Our approach is to be focused on maintenance and efficiency with the capacity we have today. More than a planned investment or expansion, we are fine-tuning the strategy, maybe even including some selected business partners.
Q: What is the message that Aeromexico Cargo would like to share with the market?
A: We are developing e-commerce channels and our goal is to increase our penetration in B2B markets as a line-haul carrier from Asia and other countries to Mexico and the region. We have significantly improved both our first and last miles to be closer not only to the line haul but also developing door-to-door solutions.
Aeroméxico Cargo started operations in 1989 and is a leader in cargo services for both Mexico and the LATAM/Caribbean region. The company has a fleet of 133 airplanes connecting 43 Mexican and 46 foreign destinations