Paris-headquartered General Sales and Service Agent European Cargo Service (ECS) expanded its global business considerably last year. Quite a risky strategy, considering some markets that
were close to flat and throat cutting competition between carriers, sending air freight rates further downwards.
Who dares wins. In this case it’s the ECS Group that decided to continue its growth strategy in 2014 despite some external unfavorable conditions. As the Group’s CEO Bertrand Schmoll told
CargoForwarder Global exclusively, his company turned over U.S. $1 billion last year and sold 700,000 tons of airfreight to its mandate airlines such as Brussels Airlines Cargo, ANA Cargo, China
Southern Cargo, Turkish Airlines Cargo and a considerable number of other clients.
States Bertrand: “Turning over 1 billion dollars for the first time in our history is a real trailblazer and a reward for the many successful sales efforts of our group members.” In comparison, ECS reported revenues of $920 million in 2013 and 585,000 tons of cargo respectively transported by partner airlines acquired by ECS group members like the Italian ADP, Germany’s Globe Air Cargo or the French GSA’s four Scandinavian subsidiaries Nordic, to pick only a few out of its member list.
Four key biz drivers
Asked about the main business drivers Bertrand mentions four areas:
In first place the acquisition of additional airline customers such as Air Asia India, Philippines Airlines (U.S. West Coast sales), Royal Air Maroc (France, UK, Belgium) which were added to the existing 29 mandate carriers.
Placed second by the CEO is the geographical extension of existing services for capacity providers ECS already partners with such as DHL Aviation or Qatar Cargo.
Thirdly, he underlines that the widening of ECS’s network of stations in key countries spurred significant growth, as was the case in India where the GSA upped the number of offices from three to thirteen last year in order to service its client Air Asia India at airports they have added to their route map.
Finally, Bertrand points out that ECS gained a new contract in the USA, allowing his company to span its network from coast to coast.
Focus on Latin America
Asked about key targets set for the current year he remains rather defensive but delivers this general perspective. “Our strategy for 2015 consists on an extension of our Latin American network, not simply to add own offices on the map, but by consolidating strong local expertise and integrate this market knowledge into the ECS Group.”