Martin Bittner takes over the helm at general sales agent Globe Air Cargo, succeeding Managing Director Mark Grinsted who will retire at the end of March 2017.
Mark goes, Martin comes. Presumably, it will be a very smooth transition lasting from 1st January when Martin Bittner (49) joins Globe, until 31 of March, with Mark Grinsted departing the GSA -
just one day before celebrating his 69th birthday.
With Mark’s exit the Frankfurt-based agent belonging to European Cargo Service’s (ECS) global empire, loses a veteran that has been with Globe since 2002. When looking back one can say that UK-born Mark played a decisive role in developing the company to one of central Europe’s leading GSAs. Over the last 15 years Globe has been largely defined by him and his predecessor Heiner Sass, with both of them being instrumental for catapulting Globe into the dominant role Globe is playing today in the GSA landscape.
A stormy year 2015
From the very beginning in 1992, Globe’s path constantly pointed upwards. Until last year when some dark clouds gathered on the firm’s horizon and heavy wind gusts blew some important mandate airlines away. Mainly Delta Cargo, whose lower deck capacity offered to clients in central Europe is meanwhile marketed by Delta’s SkyTeam partner Air France-KLM Cargo. However, from all what’s been heard, not very many forwarding agents are happy about this change, CargoForwarder Global was told confidentially by market participants.
Next client quitting Globe was Qatar Cargo that decided to run its freight business with their own staff instead of further relying on GSA services. Finally, the string of bad news ended for Globe with Finnair Cargo’s departure.
Indeed hurting losses, but much of the drainage Globe was able to compensate by gaining DHL Aviation as new client whose rest capacity is sold by the GSA. The DHL unit is a big fish on the sales agent’s hook, managing and operating a large freighter fleet. Another door swung open in November when broker Chapman Freeborn and forwarding agent Senator International started cargo flights across the North Atlantic, utilizing an Air Atlanta Icelandic Boeing 747-400F. This “BMW” shuttle links Munich and Frankfurt-Hahn with Spartanburg, supplying components and parts for BMW’s U.S. production plant. “It’s a great opportunity to sell the rest capacity of the freighter that is not utilized by Senator and the forwarder’s clients,” tells Mark. The volumes fluctuate from flight to flight.
Martin steps in
However, gaining new clients to further enlarge the number of partnering airlines is the predominant task of Mark’s successor Martin Bittner after sitting on Globe’s driver seat beginning 2nd January. Minnesota, USA-born Martin brings in a wealth of experience and knowledge he has gained while working in the industry. He started his career at Lufthansa Cargo, switched over to Air Canada in 2002 becoming AC’s European Chief, and followed 2006 by an assignment as Senior Director Commercial in Toronto. In 2011, Martin returned to Germany, taking on a leading role at agent Expeditors from where it took him to DHL Global Forwarding in Frankfurt, becoming Head of Key Account Management. That is in short his carreer that will be continued soon at ECS daughter Globe Air Cargo.
“Despite the fact that I’m not yet well acquainted with the company and the 50 staff I know that Globe is a very strong and stable organization,” Mr Bittner states. He goes on to say: “Mark, Heiner and their teams have provided a solid basis for the further enhancement of the company. So it’s my aim to continue pursuing the adopted course to bring Globe even further to the front.”