Special Focus News
WCA Family and Etihad Cargo offers forwarders benefits
Networking is always at the core of successful business deals. That’s why David Yokeum formed the WCA Family of Logistics Networks in what has become over the years the world’s most powerful grouping of independent freight forwarders.
Today the organization (WCA stands for World Cargo Alliance) has close to 4,000 member offices in more than 640 cities and ports worldwide. It claims it has more logistics power than all other freight forwarder networks put together primarily because the WCA Family focuses on providing opportunities to increase business and expand into new markets. WCA Family is committed to helping all its members improve their profits.
Airline Vendor Signed On
A big win came last year when Etihad Crystal Cargo signed a signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the WCA Family in what was the first cargo airline to act as a vendor within the WCA Family of Logistics Networks.
Etihad Crystal Cargo, today known simply as Etihad Cargo, is the fast growing cargo division of Etihad Airways.
David Kerr, Vice President Etihad Cargo, commented to AJOT that he expects the carrier to handle all types of cargo as a result of the partnership.
“This is on the assumption that independent forwarders and the networks that bring them together provide service to a wide range of logistics requirements,” Kerr remarked.
While Etihad Cargo is a bit closed mouthed about the advantages this partnership with the WCA Family offers both organizations, its press release indicates that by having this affiliation, WCA Family members now have access to Etihad Cargo’s global network of 84 destinations.
That’s, in part, due to the fact the MoU was signed when Etihad was enhancing its service from Asia to the Indian Subcontinent and into Africa.
“We are very excited about this MoU with the WCA Family and expect to be able to deliver exceptional value and routings to their members, said Roy Kinnear, Senior Vice President Cargo at Etihad, at the time.
Important Partnership for Recessionary Times
Kinnear pointed out that Forwarder partnerships with the WCA Family have been particularly important during the global recession since many smaller and independent forwarders have faced credit issues.
“In our industry, the issue of credit can be an administrative and financial burden especially for the smaller independent forwarder,” Kinnear said. “This agreement allows WCA Family members to leverage the strength of the Etihad relationship with WCA Family to provide an airway bill facility on behalf of its members.”
In short, this means all WCA Family agents will now have access to Etihad Cargo’s full booking facility.
In discussing the matter with AJOT, Kerr pointed out that a key document to work with Etihad Cargo is the airway bill.
“The centralized agreement with WCA covers one of the steps that include the credit line required to provide this,” Kerr said. “Thereafter, WCA members, as new or existing customers, get the full support of the Etihad Cargo team to offer value for money capacity and service to meet the air cargo requirements.”
Kinnear added, however, that for forwarders and companies that are already trading with Etihad Cargo, it’s business as usual.
“However if you need access to more choice for your airfreight, this unique initiative allows you to begin transactions with Etihad quickly since it’s founded on the strength of the Etihad relationship with WCA Family,” Kinnear continued.
WCA Family President Yokeum is certain that the deal will bring major benefits to independent forwarders and that the relationship will only strengthen in the future – bringing even greater rewards to the sector.
“Etihad, as a company, has shown great vision by thinking outside the box and forging this partnership with a private organization,” he said. “I would like to commend Etihad Cargo for having the foresight and drive to engage so productively with the independent forwarding community.”
One of the benefits to forwarders for belonging to the WCA Family is that the organization offers a security structure that covers each member up to $100,000 under its Gold Medallion Financial Protection Program in the case of non-payment from another WCA Family member. This gives members a safety net and makes it easier for all members to work together with peace of mind and complete financial security.
In addition to insurance programs, the WCA Family also provides, risk management and a member-to-member payment program. Listening to members, WCA Family continues to develop industry-leading solutions to the problems faced every day by even the best independent forwarders.
Worldwide Sales Network
Kinnear also stressed how Etihad’s worldwide sales network stands ready to support WCA Family’s needs with creative airfreight solutions.
For one, Etihad Cargo recently introduced a new SMS tracking tool, which it now offers customers around the world. This tool provides real-time information about the status of consignments via mobile phone 24/7 by following three simple steps.
Yokeum reported that he sees the partnership as a win-win situation for both Etihad and the WCA Family of Logistics Networks.
Today, Etihad Cargo operates a fleet of seven dedicated cargo aircraft consisting of one Boeing B777F, two Airbus A300-600F, two Airbus A330-200F and two MD-11F (leased) aircraft that fly on scheduled services to Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
In May, Etihad Airways signed a contract with Atlas Air, Inc. to provide the UAE flag carrier with its first Boeing 747-400 Freighter. The two MD-11Fs are provided by World Airways, part of Global Aviation Holdings. They operate on scheduled routes to Europe, Asia and Africa.
In 2010, Etihad Cargo reported that it operates to a total of 84 destinations internationally, 10 of which are freighter only. The airline operates cargo freighters to 25 of these 84 destinations. These 10 freighter-only destinations are: Addis Ababa, Amsterdam, Benghazi, Calcutta, Hahn, Hong Kong, Kabul, Kandahar, Sharjah, Djibouti.
Reference: Karen E. Thuermer, AJOT, 11 May 2012, “WCA Family and Etihad Cargo offers forwarders benefits”, http://ajot.com/article_SpecialFeatures.asp?ArticleId=14466